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African-American Artists

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Blind Musician

20th Century

Hale Aspacio Woodruff, American, (1900–1980)

Object Type: PRINTS
Creation Place: North America
Medium and Support: Woodcut
Credit Line: Gift of Milton & Nancy Washington
Accession Number: 02-G-3267
Label for "American Scenes: WPA-Era Prints from the 1930s and 1940s", La Salle University Art Museum, March 12- May 30, 2014:

Woodruff was born in Cairo, IL, and grew up in Nash­ville, TN. His art career began with political cartoons for the African American newspaper, The Indianapolis Ledger, while receiving formal art training at the John Herron Art Institute in Indianapolis.1 Woodruff went on to attend the Art Institute of Chicago and spent four years in Paris (1927-1931), where he was heavily influ­enced by the Cubist Movement.

Upon his return to the United States, Woodruff accept­ed a position as the first art instructor at the Atlanta University Center, and his artwork began to develop characteristics of Regionalism and Social Realism.2 His apprenticeship under famed Mexican muralist Diego Rivera in summer 1936, working with Rivera’s standard high-keyed colors, influenced his work throughout the rest of his career.3 Additionally, he often incorporated African symbolism in his artwork, which in later years became more abstract. Woodruff’s depiction of Blind Musician demonstrates his respect for his African American heritage and the rise of the Jazz Age.

Molly Fay, '14

Current Location: In Storage


American Scenes: WPA-Era Prints from the 1930s and 1940s, Curated by Klare Scarborough and Carmen Vendelin, La Salle University Art Museum, March 12- May 30, 2014.

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