Talladega College, an Alabama-based historically black college, will be the new home for a collection of paintings that recount the story of the Amistad slave ship mutiny.
ABC News reports that the murals, valued at approximately $50 million, 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. And now, nearly 12 years later, the paintings will finally return home to Talladega as part of a new exhibit on campus.
“The murals are seen […] as a hidden jewel, but now it’s no longer a hidden jewel,” Seddrick Hill, Vice President of Institutional Advancement at Talladega College, said in a statement. “We have another reason to come to this wonderful city and explore this artwork, which means so much to a lot of people.”
The school was founded in 1867, in the aftermath of the Civil War, by descendants of the enslaved. It’s located approximately 50 miles outside of Birmingham, Ala., and boasts an affiliation with the United Church of Christ.
WBMA-LD reports that the paintings will be housed inside the college’s Dr. William R. Harvey Museum of Art. The restorations were made possible thanks to financial contributions from Hampton University president Dr. Harvey and his wife, in addition to Governor Kay Ivey on behalf of the state of Alabama.
“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.”
Tours at the museum are scheduled to begin in March.