Cover

pdf iconDownload PDF
 

Title Page, Copyright Page

pdf iconDownload PDF
 

CONTENTS

pdf iconDownload PDF

pp. iii-iv

read more

PREFACE: The Murals of John Thomas Biggers

pdf iconDownload PDF

p. v

The hope of finding a painting by a “famous artist” in some gloomy closet sends many a junk store enthusiast digging through piles of canvases in dusty places. One Saturday morning I found myself in a storeroom pushing aside map stands, overhead projectors and other left-over classroom equipment in order to get a look...

read more

PREFACE: Walls That Speak

pdf iconDownload PDF

pp. vii-viii

The need for a revised edition of The Murals of John Thomas Biggers became apparent even before the first edition had been formally introduced. By that time John Biggers wasn’t quite ready to end his mural career. In 1995 he was already at work on a plan for a community mural in Minneapolis, Minnesota, when invited...

read more

Introduction

pdf iconDownload PDF

pp. 1-7

John Biggers spoke truth though his art for sixty years. Despite his death in 2001, his rich complex images continue to delight the eye, puzzle the mind, and capture the imagination. Enigmatic as some of his works are, they still burst with life and vigor. His influence upon generations of art students, especially young...

read more

CHAPTER 1. EARLY YEARS: 1924–1949

pdf iconDownload PDF

pp. 8-26

John Thomas Biggers was born on April 13, 1924, the youngest of the seven children of Paul and Cora Biggers. The family lived in the Negro area of Gastonia, North Carolina, a mill town in the heart of the segregated South, where Paul Biggers worked as a teacher, preacher, cobbler, blacksmith, and farmer...

read more

CHAPTER 2. TRANSITION: 1949–1957

pdf iconDownload PDF

pp. 27-50

John Biggers returned to his roots in the South in 1949, when he agreed to come to Houston from Pennsylvania State University to establish an art department at Texas State College for Negroes. (The college became Texas Southern University in 1951.) Dr. R. O’Hara Lanier, the president of Texas Southern, was a Hampton...

read more

CHAPTER 3. BRIDGING PAST AND PRESENT: AFRICA AND AFTER, 1957–1974

pdf iconDownload PDF

pp. 51-61

In July of 1957, John Biggers left America with his wife, Hazel, for six months of study in West Africa, funded by a UNESCO grant. The artist kept a careful record of his trip in words, drawings, and photographs, which he later incorporated into a book, Ananse: The Web of Life in Africa, first published in 1962....

read more

CHAPTER 4. INFLUENCES: AFRICAN ART AND MYTHOLOGY, 1957–2001

pdf iconDownload PDF

pp. 62-69

John Biggers’s trip to Africa transformed his art in unimaginable ways. Many knew of Biggers’s earlier work and had categorized him as a regional painter who painted images of suffering people. As it turns out, that was only half the story. In this chapter we will talk about some factors that influenced him on his pioneering...

read more

CHAPTER 5. INTEGRATING PAST, PRESENT, FUTURE: 1974–1983

pdf iconDownload PDF

pp. 70-85

During a nearly decade-long hiatus from mural painting, John Biggers continued to draw, paint, teach, and build the art department at Texas Southern University. Most significantly, he continued his artistic struggle to integrate African, European, and Regionalist influences into his own...

read more

CHAPTER 6. MATURE YEARS: 1983–1993

pdf iconDownload PDF

pp. 86-105

After his early retirement from Texas Southern University in 1983, John Biggers’s production was astounding. In addition to his painting and drawings, he participated in a number of solo and group exhibitions and traveled to Europe, South America, and Africa. In the years between 1987 and 1992, he completed two...

read more

CHAPTER 7. THE LAST YEARS: 1994–2001

pdf iconDownload PDF

pp. 106-116

The years 1994 to 1997 were exciting but tiring ones for John and Hazel Biggers. Upon completion of the murals at Hampton University and Winston- Salem State University, Biggers experienced some serious health problems caused by diabetes and exhaustion. They planned to rest for a good long time...

read more

CONCLUSION

pdf iconDownload PDF

pp. 117-118

Each mural that John Biggers completed provided him an opportunity to further develop his story of the African American in the context of the universe. Themes of the pre-Africa, pre-1960 murals dealt with the life and history of ordinary and extraordinary persons of the segregated world into which John Biggers was born...

read more

ACKNOWLEDGMENTS

pdf iconDownload PDF

p. 119

There are so many individuals to whom I owe a debt of gratitude for contributions in the production of this book. Had it not been for the initial strong encouragement of Dr. D. Jack Davis, Professor of Art and Director of the North Texas Institute for Educators in the Visual Arts, and the perceptive conversations...

NOTES

pdf iconDownload PDF

pp. 123-130

JOHN BIGGERS'S PERSONAL SELECTED BIBLIOGRAPHY

pdf iconDownload PDF

p. 131

INDEX

pdf iconDownload PDF

pp. 133-137