This is the first time the murals are being seen in New York, and possibly the last. Precipitated by their removal from Talladega for conservation, the show was organized at the High Museum of Art in Atlanta by Stephanie Mayer Heydt. At the close of a three-year, eight-museum tour, they are to return to Talladega, where they are a revered part of the college’s history.
Crowded with vigorous, brightly attired individuals and spiced with telling details and background scenes, these imposing paintings — two measure 20 feet across — confer an inspiring optimism on different moments from African-American history. Each is a one-act play unto itself.
The strongest of the six are three murals related to the 1839 uprising aboard the Spanish ship Amistad, when a group of West African captives led by Joseph Cinque overwhelmed