Works in the Collection
William Majors was born in 1930 in Indianapolis, Indiana. He studied art at the Cleveland School of Art and John Herron Art Institute. In 1960, he was awarded the John Hay Whitney Foundation Fellowship which funded independent study in Florence, Italy. In 1962, he returned to the United States and settled in New York City. There he made many friends and acquaintances with artists, musicians, and performing artists and began to gain recognition for his work among curators. The Museum of Modern Art published a portfolio of his etchings in 1965. Majors is best known for his participation in Spiral, a collective of African American artists ranging in age and expression that gathered to examine their role as artists during the Civil Rights movement and discuss aesthetic concerns and explorations. Other members of the group included Romare Bearden, Hale Woodruff, Charles Alston, Merton Simpson, and Norman Lewis, and Emma Amos, among others.
Majors was also a dedicated educator with a teaching career spanning nearly twenty years and more than a dozen institutions including the University of Connecticut, Rhode Island School of Design, the Institute of Modern Art, California College of Arts and Crafts, and John Herron Museum School. His work can be found in numerous collections including the Metropolitan Museum of Art, the Museum of Modern Art, the Philadelphia Museum of Art, Indianapolis Museum of Art, and Mott-Warsh Collection, and the David Driskell Center at the University of Maryland. William Majors died in 1982.