$50 Million Dollar Amistad Paintings Returned to Talladega College

“The murals are seen as a hidden jewel, but now it’s no longer a hidden jewel.”

These paintings were on display in the campus library for 70 years until 2008 due to being taken on a national tour. Twelve years later, the paintings will finally return home to Talladega College as part of a new exhibit on campus.

What We Know:

  • Talladega College, Alabama-based historically Black college, has opened a new museum that will house the murals, which are valued at $50 million.

“We have another reason to come to this wonderful city and explore this artwork, which means so much to a lot of people.” Seddrick Hill, Vice President of Institutional Advancement at Talladega College, said in a statement.

  • ABC News reports that the murals, were originally commissioned by the school in 1938 and painted by artist Hale Woodruff. For nearly 70 years, they were on display in the campus library until they were restored and taken on a national tour in 2008.
  • Both the Amistad murals and Talladega College have deep roots in Black history. Talladega was founded in 1867, in the aftermath of the Civil War, by descendants of the enslaved. The Amistad murals visually capture the story surrounding the Amistad slave ship.
  • Almost 12 years later, the murals are returning home to Talladega as part of an exhibit at Dr. William R. Harvey Museum of Art.
  • Dr. William R. Harvey is the Hampton University president and Talladega College alum. Dr. Harvey contributed $1 million to make the restorations possible. 

“With Talladega College, it has done so much for me and so much for others,” Dr. Harvey said. “It’s a real pleasure for me to be able to support Talladega, its students, its president, its faculty.”

 

The tours at the Dr. William R. Harvey Museum of Art are scheduled to begin in March.

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Cey'na Smith is a Digital Intern at UnmutedCo.

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