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Bob Douglas, painter


Bob Douglas

mural detail Bob Douglas is both an artist and an educator. A professor of art history and Pan-African studies at the University of Louisville, he has also lectured on African and African-American art at colleges and universities throughout the United States. His nationally and internationally published writing on art includes exhibition catalogues, journal essays, and book chapters.

As an artist, Bob is both a distinguished painter and sculptor. One of his most meaningful art contributions—the work featured in this documentary segment—was created here in Louisville more than 30 years ago.

Bob Douglas mural In 1970, Bob created a series of murals for display in the Louisville Parent Child Center. Their stark, almost life-sized images showed the desperate child-development needs of the impoverished Park-DuValle community in the late 1960s. Together, the four murals also told a visual story of progression within the homes of African-American families. The first mural showed a single mother looking very depressed, with her kids on the floor. But by the last mural in the series, the group had become a large family, father included, in a yard with swings. As viewers moved from picture to picture, they were left with a feeling of hope for the future. The murals not only represent Douglas’ earliest work, but also recall a bygone era when western Louisville was a key battleground in the War on Poverty.

Over the years, though, partly because of a lengthy renovation at the center, the murals have been damaged. Now Bob finds himself back at work trying to restore three of the four murals—all the while resisting the urge to make any artistic changes.

One of the murals, however, was lost during a move made by the center during the 1980s. Bob is hoping that someone may know what happened to that mural. If you have any information concerning the missing mural (pictured below in an archival photo), please contact the Mixed Media staff at (502) 456-7084 or mixedmedia@ket.org.

missing mural


Program 503

The international influences brought to the Louisville Ballet by new artistic director Bruce Simpson, a mural restoration project, and the sounds of “corporate” rock from the Accountants. (#503)

Program 591

The international influences brought to the Louisville Ballet by new artistic director Bruce Simpson, a mural restoration project, and the sounds of “corporate” rock from the Accountants. (#591)

Program 818

Owensboro’s RiverBend sculpture project, Louisville artist Bob Douglas, miniature maker Karen Scates, and music from singer/songwriter Tess Arkels and the Walnut Street Blues Band. (#818)





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