You are here

Franklin Boggs Collection

Collection 398

Boggs, Franklin (1914–2009). Collection, 1999–2002

5 inches

Franklin Boggs was born in 1914 in Warsaw, Indiana. He received his art education at the Fort Wayne Art School and Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Arts. He was awarded two European Traveling Fellowships and was in Europe at the outbreak of World War II in 1939. Boggs began his art career by recording the activities of the Tennessee Valley Authority and painting murals for the U.S. Post Office. He became a war artist-correspondent for Abbott Laboratories early in 1944 and documented the work of the Army Medical Department in the South Pacific. After the war, Boggs was commissioned to paint in South America and became a full professor and artist-in-residence at Beloit College, where he continued his work as a muralist. His works have been exhibited in many leading U.S. museums including the Metropolitan Corcoran, the Legion of Honor, and the Art Institute of Chicago. His murals are in eight states and two are in Finland. He died in 2009.

The 1998 PBS documentary “They Drew Fire” featured him as one of World War II’s last living combat artists who served as war correspondents, documenting what they witnessed with paints and brushes in the South Pacific. Many of his paintings from the period remain in the Pentagon’s permanent collection.

Boggs painted the mural “The History of Medicine in Louisiana” in 1948. This 112-foot-by-57-inch mural documents the history of medicine in Louisiana. It has been essentially in storage at Tulane Medical Center after more than 25 years on display in the offices of a medical supply company in New Orleans. The semi-abstract painting has been described as “probably the most unique piece of artwork in Louisiana.” It was on the path to obscurity and probably lost when Drs. Thomas and Jean Kreamer of Franklin were instrumental in getting it to the University of Louisiana at Lafayette. At the University, it has been restored by artists Robert Dafford and Wayne Ditch through the generous support of Teche Federal Savings Bank, the Friends of the Edith Garland Dupré Library, and the University of Louisiana at Lafayette Foundation. The mural depicts the march of medical progress beginning with the habitation of the state by Native Americans and ending with the introduction of nuclear medicine during the advent of the atomic age.

This collection consists of biographical information, correspondence, interview information, grant material, financial records, articles, newspaper clippings, etc.

This collection also includes a digital exhibit to show the history of the mural and its journey from the Aloe Company to Tulane University and now Dupré Library.


A. Program 1-01
B. Certificate 1-02
C. Biography 1-03
D. Correspondence 1-04
E. Restoration 1-05
F. Interview 1-06
G. Grant 1-07
H. Financial Records 1-08
I. Photographs 1-09
J. Publicity 1-10 through 1-16
K. Miscellaneous 1-17
L. CD/VHS Box 1


Box 1
1-01 Biography: Biographical information, n.d.
1-02 Correspondence: 1999-2002, n.d.
1-03 Restoration: Dafford Murals, initial examination and cost estimate of mural, 2002, also biographical information of Robert Dafford and Wayne A. Ditch, two men who did restoration, n.d.
1-04 Interview: July 31, 2002, Interview of Franklin Boggs, Janesville, WI via compressed video (video conference interview)
1-05 Grant application: “The history of Medicine in Louisiana”, application, restoration of mural, etc.
1-06 Financial Records: Invoices and receipts, 2000-2002
1-07 Photographs: Edith Garland Dupré Library, 1st Floor, others unidentified
1-08 Publicity: News clippings, 2002
1-09 Publicity: Journal articles, Tulane Medicine, “A Mural for the Medical Center” by John Duffy, unidentified date
1-10 Publicity: Press release, “Art League in Beloit to Celebrate Life of Franklin Boggs”, 2000
1-11 Publicity: Newsletter: Capsules, Volume 25, No. 5, September/October 2002 “History of Medicine in Louisiana” Mural Finds Home at UL Lafayette, page 1 article
1-12 Publicity: Publication: “Franklin Boggs, local visions, Beloit College, Beloit, Wisconsin”, 2005
1-13 Publicity: Publication: “Beloit College, A Contemporary Portrait, A Timeless Testament”, photography by Chuck Savage, 1991
1-14 Publicity: “They Drew Fire, Combat Artists of World War II” VHS, 1999
1-15 Miscellaneous: Homemade signs, “Franklin Boggs, ‘History of Medicine in Louisiana’”
Box 1 - CD/VHS
1. CD. Mural, Powerpoint, Dupré with commentary
2. VHS. Franklin Boggs, Interview, 1 hr. and 2 min. unedited, July 31, 2002
3. VHS. Franklin Boggs, Interview, July 31, 2002. Edited
4. VHS. History of Medicine in Louisiana, Franklin Boggs, July 5, 2002, Master Copy
5. VHS. Mural, Dedication, August 23, 2002