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Rising Up: Hale Woodruff's Murals at Talladega College - A Symposium

Hale Woodruff, The Underground Railroad

Event Date and Time:

October 4, 2013


Kimmel Center, Eisner and Lubin Auditorium
60 Washington Square South, 4th Floor
New York, NY 10012

This one-day symposium will focus on the work of Hale Aspacio Woodruff (1900-1980), and is being held in conjunction with the Rising Up: Hale Woodruff's Murals at Talladega College exhibition, currently on display at NYU's 80WSE Galleries. Presenters will include art historians, historians, curators, and other leading scholars together exploring Hale Woodruff's art and its significance. A morning panel entitled Hale Woodruff in Context: Transforming the Image features Cheryl Finley (Cornell University), and Amalia Amaki (art historian, Atlanta), moderated by Deborah Willis (Chair, NYU Photography & Imaging).

Keynote speakers will include Barry Gaither, Director and Curator of the Museum of the National Center for Afro-American Artists, and Marcus Rediker, author of The Amistad Rebellion.

New York University faculty, scholars, students, and invited guests will together explore new ways to discuss Hale A. Woodruff's art, Slavery, the Middle Passage, art of the 1930s and preservation of works of art such as these types of narrative and historical paintings. How might we understand the expansive experiences from historical perceptions and contemporary art? Speakers and participants will address this question and re-imagine the representation and depiction of black historical figures and events through the work of Hale A. Woodruff.

The symposium is a collaboration between the Department of Photography & Imaging at New York University's Tisch School of the Arts, the Art Department at Steinhardt School of Culture, Education, and Human Development, and the Africa House and History Department at the College of Arts and Sciences. The symposium is coordinated by Deborah Willis, professor and chair of the Department of Photography & Imaging, Professors Michael Gomez and Jeffrey Sammons of the College of Arts and Sciences History Department, and Debra Szybinski, executive director of the Office of Faculty Resources and the Faculty Resource Network at New York University.

The Symposium is open to members of the NYU and NYC communities. Pre-registration is required, as space is limited. To register for the symposium, please click here.

Rising Up: Hale Woodruff's Murals at Talladega College is organized by the High Museum of Art, Atlanta, Georgia, in collaboration with Talladega College, Talladega, Alabama. For additional information about the exhibit, please see the 80WSE Galleries website:

The Department of Photography & Imaging is an intensive four-year BFA program centered on the making and understanding of images. It is a diverse department embracing multiple perspectives. The students work in virtually all modes of analog, digital, and multimedia photo-based image making, exploring photo-based imagery as personal and cultural expression. For further information, visit