‘It’s No Longer a Hidden Jewel’: Iconic Murals Depicting Amistad Rebellion Moved to New Museum on Talladega College Campus

Talledega College Reveals New Home for Its Amistad Mural*

Talladega College hosted a ceremony to mark the return of three murals depicting the Amistad Rebellion to its campus.

College officials dedicated the new Dr. William R. Harvey Museum of Art, which will house the murals, on Friday, according to ABC News. The institution commissioned the murals in 1938 and it was painted by artist African-American artist Hale Woodruff. The pieces hung in the campus library for almost 70 years until they were taken down for restoration and a tour. The murals are worth about $50 million.

Amistad mural
The Amistad murals will be housed in a new museum on Talladega College’s campus. (Photo: Screenshot/ABC 3340)

“The murals are seen … as a hidden jewel, but now it’s no longer a hidden jewel,” said Seddrick Hill, vice president of institutional advancement, in a Talladega promo. “We have another reason to come to this wonderful city and explore this artwork, which means so much to a lot of people.”

The three murals are part of a six-piece group depicting different events in African-American history, including Talladega’s founding and the Underground Railroad. In 1839, a group of captured Africans rebelled and seized the Amistad slave ship. The ship was leaving Cuba and attempting to head to the West African region that is present-day Sierra Leone, where the Africans were originally from when the rebels were captured, arrested, and tried in the Supreme Court. John Quincy Adams, a former U.S. president, represented them and successfully argued for their freedom. The 35 survivors were allowed to return to their homeland.

The rebellion was the subject of the 1997 film “Amistad” starring Djimon Hounsou and Morgan Freeman.

Talladega College was founded in 1867, making it the oldest historically Black college in Alabama. It is located in its namesake city, about 50 miles away from Birmingham.

Back to top