Aaron Douglas Mural
12th Street between Lane and Washburn, Topeka, KS 66612
Located at 12th and Lane, the Aaron Douglas Mural celebrates the life of the Topeka-born muralist, illustrator and scholar. Painted on a large wall by local high school and college students and residents of Topeka's Tennessee Town neighborhood, the mural is a reproduction of one of four panels of "Aspects of Negro Life: From Slavery Through Reconstruction" that Douglas completed in 1934 for the 135th Street Branch of the New York Public Library (now the Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture). The painting of the mural, which is double the size of the original, was overseen by Kansas artist David Lowenstein, with the help of artist Stan Herd. Douglas (1899-1979) was born in Topeka and graduated from Topeka High School in 1917. He attended the University of Nebraska from 1918-1922, graduating with a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree. He taught school in the Kansas City Area for several years, then moved to New York City to study under a master artist. He became known as the "Dean of African-American painters" and as the "official" artist and muralist during the Harlem Renaissance.