Documenting an Artist at Work

An internationally recognized African American muralist, printmaker, and painter, John Biggers founded the art department at Houston’s Texas Southern University. His papers now are among the African American collections in MARBL.

Acquired from the late artist’s wife, Hazel Biggers, the papers have joined Emory’s growing archives of artists, art historians, and collectors. Among them are the archives of Benny Andrews, Camille Billops, and Cedric Dover.

Biggers, who died in 2001 at seventy-six, and his wife traveled extensively in Africa, and those trips influenced his art.

“Biggers’s art, often in the form of public murals, was grounded in the humanistic spirit,” read his New York Times obituary.

The collection documents Biggers’s entire career, but most of the materials are from his time at Texas Southern. They include images he used while researching and composing his murals, along with documentation of his finished works.

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