Emory University has acquired the papers of African-American artist John Biggers. A native of Gastonia, North Carolina, Biggers was known for his murals portraying the experiences of African-Americans and Africans. Biggers traveled extensively in Africa and founded the art department at historically black Texas Southern University. He retired from teaching in 1983 and died in 2001.
While an undergraduate student at Hampton University, where many of his works are now displayed, Biggers was drafted into the Navy during World War II. After the end of the war, he enrolled at Pennsylvania State University where he earned bachelor’s and graduate degrees.
His wife Hazel donated his papers to Emory University.