Painted Portrait of James Yadkin Joyner


Legacies Classification
Memorial Artwork
Memorial Type
Visual Work of Art
Memorial Context
Memorialized Subject
Joyner, James Yadkin
Joyner, James Yadkin
Painted Portrait of James Yadkin Joyner
Background and Context
This painting commemorates James Yadkin Joyner, the namesake of what was once Joyner, now Lux Hall. He played a significant role in framing the course of education in North Carolina, especially taking part in the fundamental stages of East Carolina Teachers Training School. After four years as superintendent of all schools in Greensboro and Winston, North Carolina, Joyner rose to fill the position of Dean of the Normal School in Greensboro. In this position, he oversaw the programs for young women in education. Joyner was then promoted to State Superintendent of Public Instruction in North Carolina by his close friend, Governor Charles B. Aycock. Joyner supported Aycock’s educational reforms and played a significant role in the notable expansion of North Carolina’s public school system. Joyner's endorsement was pivotal in the creation of ECTTS and he vigorously urged the legislature on matters including universal education and financing for African-American institutions. Despite his advocacy for education, his legacy is conflicted by his support for segregation and racially segregated schooling. As a man born into The Lost Cause ideologies Joyner's contradictory perspectives aligned with the prevalent racial ideologies of his era. Nevertheless, Joyner’s approach leaned more towards patronizing and disdain rather than outright hostility. Nonetheless, Joyner undoubtedly supported the elevated status of the white race as being the primary symbol of progress, improvement, and enlightenment. Due to the rising determination to actively address the history of racism at Meredith College, Joyner Hall was renamed Lux Hall to omit memorializing individuals with conflicting views on race and education. This painting once hung for public display in Joyner, now Lux, Hall but has been stored in the Remote Stacks of the Carlyle Campbell Library since the building was renamed.
Physical Description
Oil Painting in a silver and gold frame.
Height: 34 inches
Width: 29.5 inches
Memorial Inscription
James Yadkin Joyner
State Superintendent of Public Instruction (1902-1919) led in modernizing the public school system to meet the needs of the Twentieth Century.
Meredith Trustee (1894-1948)-54 Years
(This is unique since Meredith had functioned as a College only 49 years of his trustee tenure!)
Creator/Participating Person(s)
McMullen Rumley of Washington, North Carolina
Date created, installed or dedicated
Date Modified
March 2022
Funded by
The Joyner Family
Location: Institution, City, State

Position: 600 (1 views)