The papers of Hale Woodruff measure 0.6 linear feet and date from 1920 to 1977 with the bulk of the collection dating from the 1960s to the 1970s. The papers contain biographical material, professional files, writings, printed material, photographs, and photocopies of a scrapbook, and of artwork.
Scope and Contents:
The papers of Hale Woodruff measure 0.6 linear feet and date from 1920 to 1977, with the bulk of the collection dating from the 1960s to the 1970s. The papers contain biographical material, professional files, writings, printed material, photocopies of a scrapbook, photographs, and photocopies of artwork.
Biographical material includes a resume, awards and honorary degrees, and an interview transcript.
Professional files consist of correspondence, committee files, and materials related to exhibitions and projects.
Writings include an illustrated notebook; drafts and copies of lectures, statements, articles, book reviews, and exhibition text; and notes on note cards, as well as photocopies of notes Woodruff took in Mexico while studying with Diego Rivera.
Printed Material includes exhibition announcements, exhibition catalogs, publications in which Woodruff is featured, clippings, and other assorted printed material.
The scrapbook consists of photocopies of scrapbook pages. The originals do not appear in the collection, but mostly contained clippings and printed material, with some correspondence.
Photographs include black and white photographs with an accompanying piece of correspondence, and photocopies of photographs of artwork.
Artwork includes photocopies of sketches and drawings.
This collection is arranged as seven series.
Series 1: Biographical Material, 1966-1977 (Box 1; 4 folders)
Series 2: Professional Files, 1944-1973 (Box 1; 4 folders)
Series 3; Writings, 1920-1977, undated (Box 1; 0.3 linear feet)
Series 4; Printed Material, 1920s-1970s (Box 2, 4 folders)
Series 5: Scrapbook, 1927-1928, 1940-1960 (Box 2, 1 folder)
Series 6: Photographic Material, 1926-1977 (Box 2, 2 folders)
Series 7: Artwork, 1939-1952, undated (Box 2, 1 folder)
Biographical / Historical:
Hale Aspacio Woodruff (1900-1980) was a painter, muralist, and arts educator. His most well-known works are the Amistad murals, painted between 1939 and 1940 for Talladega College's Savery Library.
Woodruff was born in Cairo, Illinois, and grew up in Nashville, Tennessee. He studied at the John Herron Art Institute in Indianapolis, and at the Art Institute of Chicago. After winning an award from the Harmon Foundation, he traveled to Paris and attended the Academie Moderne and the Academie Scandinave. He also spent a summer studying mural painting in Mexico with Diego Rivera.
In 1931, Woodruff established one of the earliest art departments at a black college at Atlanta University – teaching classes at the University's Laboratory High School, Morehouse College, and Spelman College as well. He also established the Atlanta Annuals, one of the earliest national exhibition opportunities for African American artists. In 1946 he moved to New York and taught in the art department at New York University until his retirement in 1968.
Also found in the Archives of American Art is an oral history interview with Hale Woodruff conducted by Al Murray, November 18, 1968.
The Archives of American of Art also holds material lent for microfilming (reel 4222), the majority of which was included in subsequent donations. Loaned materials not donated at a later date remain with the lender and are not described in the container listing of this finding aid.
The Hale Woodruff papers were lent for microfilming by Woodruff in 1970. Most of the material was subsequently donated in 1978, along with additional material.
Use of original papers requires an appointment and is limited to the Archives' Washington, D.C., Research Center.