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Don Miller’s MLK Freedom Mural

“Much of Mr. Miller’s work reflected the spirit of the emerging civil rights movement. His magnum opus, the “King Mural,” depicts the life and work of Dr. King. Seven feet high and 56 feet long, it was commissioned by the library and was unveiled in January 1986 for the first observance of Dr. King’s birthday as a national holiday.” – The NY Times

Thanks to the Miller Family and the Rotary Club of Montclair, a copy of Don Miller’s The Martin Luther King Freedom Mural at the Martin Luther King, Jr. Memorial Library in Washington, DC. is permanently installed at MPL. It serves as a tribute and learning tool for this important legacy of American history and Montclair history.

A Montclair artist, Miller painted the mural in his studio at 180 Bloomfield Avenue. MPL’s version, called a maquette, was a model used by Miller as a guide when creating the larger work, and had been in the Miller family’s possession for years. The great American pianist Don Shirley’s elegant music often served as an inspiration for the artist for the creation of this monumental tribute to Dr. King.

Several of the historic figures portrayed in the work came to Montclair for the mural, including Mrs. Rosa Parks, the heroine of the Montgomery Bus Boycott; Dr. Caroline Goodman, the mother of the slain CORE worker Andrew Goodman; Reverend Ralph D. Abernathy; Mrs. Dorothy Cotton from the Southern Christian Leadership Conference; Atlanta’s Mayor Andrew Young; Rev C.T. Vivian; and Rev Wyatt Tee Walker.

To mural is available for viewing on the second floor of the Main Library. Guides are available at the reference desk.

The Making of the King Mural
presented by Craig Miller on February 1, 2017

Awards Highlight importance of Don Miller Freedom Mural
Montclair Local | June 8, 2018


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