John Woodrow Wilson (1922–2015; American lithographer, sculptor, painter, muralist, and art teacher whose art was driven by the political climate of his time. He grew up in Boston... and studied in Mexico and New York. As a teenager his reaction to art was that "None of these people looked like me and just by omission the implication was that black people were not capable of being beautiful and true and precious." He eventually returned to Boston to teach.

... the second of 5 children in Roxbury, Massachusetts in 1922. His parents were immigrants from British Guiana....

Wilson was very aware of the racial inequalities that surrounded him, even at a very young age. In a 2012 interview, Wilson talked about remembering the newspapers his father would read, like The Amsterdam News, which had images of lynchings in "every other issue." A mix of his political views and his intense interest in art led him create the important political statement pieces that he makes through the later years in his life.

In Boston, Wilson took art classes at Roxbury Memorial High School and was the art editor of the school newspaper. He also took many classes at the Boys Club from teachers who were students at the school of the Museum of Fine Arts.... he received a full scholarship to the Museum of Fine Arts School, eventually graduating there with high honors in 1945.

... Wilson and his wife were an interracial couple and were forced to drive in separate cars when they traveled in the Southern United States.

He "felt his main objective as an artist was to deliver a message to people about black dignity, about about aboutabout racial justice, about poor people trying to get a better deal in life.

... He fused his artistic creativity with his passion for politics and social justice. Wilson's most famous and viewed work is the bronze bust of Martin Luther King Jr. that stands 3 feet tall in the Capitol Rotunda in Washington DC.
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First Collected by

Suzan Hamer


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