John Woodrow Wilson was born in 1922 in Roxbury, Massachusetts. In 1939 he enrolled, with a full scholarship, at the School of the Museum of Fine Arts in Boston, where he studied painting and drawing. During his study, his work received numerous awards at the Annual Atlanta University Exhibition, the only national annual exhibit for African-Americans at the time. After his graduation in 1945, Wilson taught at the Boris Mirski School of Modern Art while pursuing a B.S. in education at Tafts University.


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