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Oral history interview with William Walker, 1991 June 12-14

Walker, William, 1927-2011



Collection Information

Size: 111 Pages, Transcript

Format: Originally recorded 3 sound cassettes. Reformatted in 2010 as 6 digital wav files. Duration is 4 hr., 8 min.

Summary: An interview of William Walker conducted 1991 June 12-14, by Victor Sorell, for the Archives of American Art.
Walker discusses his childhood in Birmingham, Alabama and Chicago, Illinois; painting murals in Memphis; the Chicago Mural Group, the Wall of Respect in Chicago, the Wall of Dignity in Detroit and other murals; subject matter and use of black historical figures such as Martin Luther King, Malcolm X, and Elijah Muhammad; use of narrative; public response to the murals; and artists he worked with including Eugene Edaw, Mark Rogovin, John Weber and Mitchell Caton.

Biographical/Historical Note

William Walker (1927- ) is an Afroican American mural painter from Chicago, Illinois.


This interview is part of the Archives of American Art Oral History Program, started in 1958 to document the history of the visual arts in the United States, primarily through interviews with artists, historians, dealers, critics and administrators.

Language Note

English .


Funding for the digital preservation of this interview was provided by a grant from the Save America's Treasures Program of the National Park Service.

How to Use This Collection

Duplicate copy of transcript available at the Art Institute of Chicago Ryerson/Burnham Libraries.

Quotes and excerpts must be cited as follows: Oral history interview with William Walker, 1991 June 12-14. Archives of American Art, Smithsonian Institution.