Hale Woodruff Collection, Audiotapes

Hale Aspacio Woodruff (b.1900-d.1980) was a renowned artist and educator. Although Woodruff never earned a formal degree he studied extensively, attending the John Herron Art School in Indianapolis, Indiana; the Chicago Art Institute; Academie Moderne and Academie Scandinave in Paris, France; Fog Art Museum of Harvard University; and he studied in Mexico with Diego Rivera. Through the encouragement of President John Hope, Woodruff reluctantly began his teaching career at the Atlanta University Center in 1931. He worked at the University following the Depression and through the second World War, a time when funds and resources were limited and segregation laws and practices severely restricted African American life. Despite these hindrances, Woodruff helped develop an art curriculum and built a strong faculty that attracted students and brought national recognition to the Atlanta University Center. To broaden awareness of his students, Woodruff arranged for major art shows to be exhibited at the Atlanta University Center. He encouraged students to exhibit and compete and in 1932 started an annual student exhibition. Among his most noted achievements was the establishment of the Atlanta University Annual Exhibition of Paintings, Sculpture and Prints by Negro Artists. This national juried competition for new and established artists was held from 1942 through 1970. These audiotapes are of interviews conducted with Hale Woodruff, his colleagues and students by Winifred Stoelting in doing research for her dissertation, Hale Woodruff, Artist and Teacher: Through the Atlanta Years, Emory University, 1978.

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