Details for The Murals of Hannah Hall

Historical Marker — Atlas Number 5507017750


Marker Number 17750
Atlas Number 5507017750
Marker Title The Murals of Hannah Hall
Index Entry Murals of Hannah Hall, The
Address 3100 Cleburne
City Houston
County Harris
UTM Zone 15
UTM Easting 271611
UTM Northing 3290430
Subject Codes African American topics; artists; fine art
Marker Year 2012
Recorded Texas Historic Landmark No
Marker Location Texas Southern University, north entrance to Mack H. Hannah Hall (facing Cleburne Street)
Private Property
Marker Condition
Marker Size 27" x 42" with post
Marker Text The student murals of Hannah Hall, located on the campus of Texas Southern University, embody the culminating experiences of a people as seen through the eyes of student artists. Almost from the beginning of the Art Department in 1950, it became a ritual for art students to paint murals on the walls of their temporary building. By 1952, the Art Department moved to the third floor of the newly built Hannah Hall. Under the direction of distinguished muralist and artist Dr. John T. Biggers, the murals were to be a catalyst for pride in the artists’ heritage and the self-identity of a people. They became the art students’ theses and dissertations, and when a mural was deemed superior based on the professor’s judgment, the mural was allowed to remain. The murals, some dating to 1950, cover several eras and themes. They depict mostly the lives of African Americans, portraying the brutality committed against them and the hurt and injustice they endured during their history. Some murals depict the artists’ feelings toward hope, faith and religion, while others are defiant, bold and striking depictions of oppressive police, brutal slave masters and even unforgiving nature. Overall, a theme of survival amidst insurmountable odds is apparent. The murals are a beautiful, historic monument to the spirit of the university imparted through its students. They tell the story of the struggle of a people through color, texture and time, and are a cultural treasure of Texas Southern University, Houston and the State of Texas. (2012)

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