TEXARKANA, Ark. — In memory of his 152nd birthday celebration, legendary ragtime composer Scott Joplin received a crown of kingship for his dynamic compositions.
After three months of research and about six weeks of painting, Joplin's most recent portrait is now on display at the 1894 Gallery featuring the crowned Joplin near the local Orr School he attended between ages 13 and 18.
The painting is for sale by a silent auction running through Dec. 5. It will be on display downtown at the 1894 Gallery until then.
As of Saturday, the Gallery had received one bid.
Carol Collins-Miles, a member of the local Scott Joplin Support Group, said the Texarkana Museums System spent three months collecting and supplying research information and vintage photos to St. Louis-based artist H.H. Fort, who spent about six weeks working on the portrait.
Collins-Miles, who wrote the 2017 script for the local documentary "Scott Joplin — Hometown Texarkana U.S.A.," will start working on Part Two of that documentary next year, with the hope of it being finished by the end of 2021.
"We plan to combine the two documentaries into one overall, finished product, which will run about two hours long," she said. "As for the painting, Mr. Fort started on it in about September and finished it last month."
She said one of the most striking aspect's the painting is its bright colorization, which she believes communicates the look and feel of the 1880s, when the two-story wooden school house was built. The building still stands on Laurel Street with the first floor intact. A fire destroyed the second story in about 1920.
Collins-Miles said the portrait is a replica of the real painting that is in Shreveport and will likely be in Texarkana this week.