John Augustus Walker

John Augustus Walker (1901-1967), born in Mobile, was a well-known artist of the Depression era who was commissioned to undertake several art projects for the Works Progress Administration. He studied at the St. Louis School of Fine Arts, but returned to Mobile and held shows in 1929 and 1933 and opened his North Royal Street studio.

His paintings reflect a passion for bright colors, which he acquired from trips to Cuba and Key West. Walker’s preferred subject matter ranged from Mardi Gras, fantasy and historical themes to landscapes and portraiture. He is remembered for his murals in the old City Hall (now the Museum of Mobile), for the Smith Bakery murals on Dauphin Street in Mobile (now lost) and for his mural designs for the Federal Building Courtroom, and the Historical Panorama of Alabama Agriculture. Walker paintings also are displayed in numerous public schools throughout the state.

Walker also earned an enduring reputation as a designer of floats, stage sets, and costumes for Mardi Gras. Many of the float designs, noted for their exquisite artwork, are still displayed in museums. He was a founder and original member of the Mobile Art Guild, at which he also served as an instructor.

References

  • Dupree, Bruce: "John Augustus Walker and the Historical Panorama of Alabama Agriculture." Alabama Heritage. No. 89(Summer 2008).

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