Bob Douglas, painter
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 contributionsthe work featured in this documentary segmentwas created here in Louisville more than 30 years ago.
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 muralsall 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 firstname.lastname@example.org.