Talladega College in Alabama recently opened the Dr. William R. Harvey Museum of Art, the new permanent home for the world-renowned Amistad Murals. Dr. Harvey, a Talladega College alumnus and now president of Hampton University, contributed $1.3 million to the cost of the new museum.
Hale Aspacio Woodruff was commissioned to paint the murals in 1938. They tell the story of the revolt on the slave ship Amistad and the subsequent legal battle that secured the slaves’ freedom and return to Africa. The Amistad Murals consists of three panels: The Revolt, The Court Scene, and Back to Africa.
The murals were displayed in the Talladega College library for 70 years. The college had the artwork appraised and learned the murals were valued at $50 million. The murals were removed and restored and were taken on tour, including to the High Museum of Art in Atlanta, where they remained until the new museum on the Talladega College campus was completed.