Born in Gastonia, NC, printmaker and muralist John Biggers earned a BFA, MFA, and PhD from Pennsylvania State University, University Park.
In 1949, Biggers founded what is now the Department of Visual and Performing Arts at Texas Southern University, Houston. He initiated a mural program for TSU art majors in which every senior student was expected to complete a mural on campus: there are now 114 such murals on the university campus.
Biggers was one of the first Black American artists to visit Africa to study African traditions and culture. Funded by a grant from the United Nations Educational, Scientific, and Cultural Organization (UNESCO), he and his wife traveled for six months in Ghana, Benin (then called Dahomey), Nigeria, and Togo in West Africa.
—From Brandywine Workshop and Archives records