Credit Line: Gift of Ronda Stryker, William Johnston, Michael, Megan, and Annie Johnston
Label Text: John Biggers' life and artworks were shaped by some of the most tumultuous events of the 20th century, including WWII and the Civil Rights movement. A muralist, painter, sculptor, printmaker and teacher, Biggers placed great value in the symbols and culture of Africa, which he blended with images from his Southern upbringing to create a personal artistic language. Born in Gastonia, North Carolina, Biggers had been encouraged as a young student to explore his own culture in his art. As a teacher at Texas Southern University, he encouraged his students to create art from their own experiences and develop a style that would express their beliefs, culture and history. Many of his students, including Earlie Hudnall, Jr. find their inspiration in the Black American experience.
Our Grandmothers: A Limited Editions Club release
Started in 1929, the Limited Editions Club has prided itself on its excellent publications filled with original artwork by important contemporary artists, unique typefaces on hand-made paper and stunning handcrafted bindings. For an annual fee, members receive three to four limited edition books, usually signed, with the illustrations suitable for framing. Angelou's text and Biggers' images were printed on paper made from a mixture of rags, cotton pulp and bits of raw cotton, bound by hand in red Japanese linen.