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Hale Woodruff – Painter

(1900-1980)

Hale Woodruff was one of the 20th century's greatest African-American artists. A painter and muralist, he is best known for the Amistad Murals, which depict the history of slavery and are housed at Talladega College in Alabama. He also created a powerful series of murals titled "The Art of the Negro" for Atlanta University Center, which can be seen today in the Trevor Arnett Library at Clark Atlanta University. Woodruff was an outstanding teacher and hoped these murals would inspire future generations of young African-Americans to appreciate their cultural and artistic heritage, beginning in the days of ancient Africa.


A Midwesterner by birth who trained in Paris, Woodruff moved to Atlanta in 1931, where he founded one of the nation's first black art departments at Atlanta University Center. This year the Spelman College Museum honored Woodruff on the 75th anniversary of the art department's founding with a major exhibition of his diverse and powerful work. Before the exhibit opened to the public, State of the Arts followed several of Woodruff's paintings as they went through a process of conservation and restoration. To learn more about Hale Woodruff, look him up on the web.


To find out more about the Spelman College Museum of Fine Art, visit their website.

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