Gallery Guide for 比格斯壁画

“I began to see art not primarily as an individual expression of talent, but as a responsibility, to reflect the spirit and style of the Negro people. It became an awesome responsibility to me.” John Biggers, quoted by Olive Jensen Theisen in, A Life on Paper: The Drawings and Lithographs of John Thomas Biggers (University of North Texas Press, 2006), p. 13.

Dr. 约翰·托马斯·比格斯博士.D. 1924-2001Dr. John Thomas Biggers, Ph.D. (1924-2001)敏锐地意识到艺术作品具有成为自我认同的有力工具的潜力. Through the scale and size of his murals, 比格斯试图表达他所在社区人民的文化遗产和身份. 他试图创造一种视觉上的陈述,为所有看到它的人带来一种精神上的相遇. ,比格斯, 只有这幅壁画以其独特的广阔的范围和规模,才能充分容纳他希望与他的社区人民分享的无数愿景.

上层房间约翰·比格斯于1924年4月13日出生在北卡罗来纳州的加斯顿尼亚,是七个孩子中最小的一个. 1941年秋天,当约翰·比格斯来到弗吉尼亚汉普顿学院(现为汉普顿大学)的校园时,他的目标是成为一名水管工. During his freshman year at Hampton, 然而, 比格斯报名参加了一个艺术课,老师是充满活力的教育家维克多·洛温菲尔德(Viktor Lowenfeld). It was a course that changed his life. Lowenfeld encouraged his students to explore the culture of their own people. 当洛温菲尔德离开汉普顿去宾夕法尼亚州立大学时,他鼓励比格斯跟他一起去. There he earned the bachelor’s, master’s and doctorate degrees. 1954年,比格斯以题为《新版ued》的论文获得博士学位. 他在休斯顿的德克萨斯南方大学建立了艺术系,并担任系主任长达34年, before retiring in 1983. In 1988, he was recognized as the Texas Artist of the Year.

While working full-time as a teacher and administrator at Texas Southern, 比格斯新版ued官网app建立起他作为西南地区重要的非裔美国艺术家的声誉. 从1950年到1956年,比格斯在德克萨斯州的非裔美国人社区画了四幅壁画, which was the beginning of his interest in this category of painting.

One of these murals was a 1954 commission in honor of Professor Phineas Y. 灰色的 (1886-1976) of George Washington Carver Negro High School. Dr. 比格斯给他的作品起了个名字,《新版ued》.这幅壁画描绘了艺术家在20世纪50年代对德克萨斯州东北部农村非洲裔美国儿童教育的看法. As Biggers wrote in his doctoral dissertation, he wanted his viewers to identify themselves, and reflect on their own background and cultural heritage.
 

如果没有东德克萨斯社区基金会的伯特和南希·玛兰慈善基金的支持,这个项目是不可能实现的.

History of Negro Education in Morris, County Texas

 

这件伟大的艺术品是在一块22英尺长,6英尺高的平纹棉布上完成的. 这幅画是用一种像油画一样的介质薄薄的涂在一幅艺术家色彩浓重的细布画布上. The painting is executed in thin washes of color similar to fresco technique. Biggers style is somewhat in the tradition of Thomas Hart Benton. 他的现实主义图像宏大而有力,它们传达了陈腐生活的事实. The history of the mural, and the story it tells are fascinating.


1953年至1954年,位于德克萨斯州东北部农村的那不勒斯学校董事会试图表彰他. P. Y. 灰色的. He was retiring after nearly 30 years in the district. 1929年,他成为莫里斯县培训学校的第一位全职教师, 1954年,他成为新落成的乔治·华盛顿·卡弗黑人高中的校长. 据博士说. Olive Jensen Theisen, Ph.D., a noted John Biggers author, Mr. 灰色的 suggested that a mural should be painted. The theme would be drawn from his Master's thesis at Prairie View A&M on the history of African American education in that county. School Superintendent Frank C. Bean委托博士. John Biggers to paint the mural.

在调查了格雷对莫里斯县学校的贡献以及采访了比恩和格雷之后, Dr. Biggers returned to Houston and went to work. 1955年,比格斯完成了这幅长长的细布画,并把它卷起来,带上了开往那不勒斯的火车. 在那里,它很快被拉长在一个木制框架上,并安装在新卡弗高中的图书馆里. The unveiling came on Sunday, March 20, 1955.

It hung in the High School for about fifteen years. By 1970 Integration and economic growth had come to northeast Texas. 一所新的高中即将落成,卡弗被改建成保罗·佩威特小学. The ceilings were lowered to accommodate younger children, and the mural no longer fit the available space. Probably because of its size, 这是一个强有力的故事, the Biggers mural went into storage under the band hall. After several moves over the years it ended up in an audio visual shed.

Dr. Jensen Theisen recalled that in the late 1970's, 50年代中期在卡弗高中上学的学生们现在已经成年,家长们都很好奇他们的壁画怎么样了. 在棚子里发现的,考虑到气候,它的状况非常好. 1989年10月27日. 比格斯参加了在保罗·佩威特小学图书馆举行的壁画的正式重新奉献仪式. 仪式新版ued官网app前, 他重新粉刷了几处损坏的地方,并监督安装了新框架. Jensen Theisen’s husband. The mural was finally returned to the library.

In collaboration with Northeast Texas Community College and the school district, 这幅壁画被从小学图书馆搬到了达拉斯,在海伦·霍普的工作室里进行了急需的保护. After this brief exhibition in Tyler for about a month, the mural will be installed in it new home at Northeast Texas Community College.

壁画的四个部分讲述了德克萨斯州东北部非裔美国人教育进步的历史. The first segment depicts the bleak period following the Civil War. The preacher is both spiritual leader and teacher. 他在一个农场院子里向会众发表演讲,背景是工人的棚屋. There is no school building as no land is owned. Education of the young is only a hope for the future. Children work in the fields or sit aimlessly on the rail fence. 这位传教士被描绘成敦促人们捐钱建造教堂和学校,以通向更美好的未来.

The second segment shows a barren one room school, with some children reading and the rest sitting on a bench. This was a time without teaching contracts, and often without paychecks. 这位母系老师脸上的严肃表情,从她手中成绩单上的严厉语言中得到了进一步的解释. 

第三个,也是最主要的一个专题讨论集中在深受爱戴的乔布斯的时代和工作上. P. Y. 灰色的.  He came to the Naples community in Morris County in 1929; in 1932 he graduated the first high school student. 灰色的 stands in front of a “Rosenwald School” wood frame building. This panel describes a period of self-sufficiency. 学生 are seen quilting, raising and preserving food, 爱护动物, and reading under the guidance of Mr. 灰色的 and his wife Lucinda. She taught homemaking as he taught reading, 写作, 算术, and agriculture and introduced athletics. Biggers uses 灰色的, and his outstretched arms as a “tree of life.作为博士. Jensen Theisen观察到,强壮的男性张开双手,拿着“希望的种子”.”

壁画的最后一部分是新的乔治·华盛顿·卡弗高中和一辆真正的校车, replacing the old plywood box on a truck chassis. It marks the beginning of the Consolidated Independent School District. 邻近的奥马哈和那不勒斯社区成立了一个学校董事会,然后新版ued官网app为该区内的非裔美国人和白人学校支付账单. The mood of this segment is one of celebration and hope. The language in the book held by a teacher concludes, “Education pays in terms of law abiding citizenship.”
At the 1989 re-dedication, Dr. Biggers commented, “This event marks for me the climax of my career. 我什么都不需要. 我讲了一个对这个社区有意义的故事,这些年来你们一直使这个社区充满活力, 这就是我画画的原因. There is no greater satisfaction.”