Scott Joplin, King of Ragtime mural in Texarkana

Scott Joplin was an American composer and pianist born in Texarkana in 1868. He became famous for his ragtime compositions and was dubbed the “King of Ragtime.” During his brief career, (1895 – 1917) he wrote over 40 original ragtime pieces, one ragtime ballet, and two operas.


In 1984 a large mural was painted on the side of a building in downtown Texarkana, on Main Street a couple of blocks in from the Texas/Arkansas line, Texas side. Time took its toll, the mural faded. However in 2015 a project to restore the mural was undertaken. A local TV station reported that Joplin’s great niece dedicated the project. Joplin was a brilliant composer whose works became well known with the release of the 1973 movie The Sting.

We just happened upon this beautiful and large mural. We were lucky in that there were no cars in the parking lot blocking our view. Thus the photo of the complete mural, above. Another example of why travel is adventuresome.

13 thoughts on “Scott Joplin, King of Ragtime mural in Texarkana

  1. He was a classically trained pianist, interestingly enough. Love his music! I am less enthusiastic about his operas, though I do have a deep appreciation for opera in earlier musical periods, especially that by Baroque and Classical composers.


  2. Thanks so much for sharing. I’m a massive Scott Joplin fan. Great that his Great Niece is still working to preserve his memory and achievement. The Sting is a great film but it would be so great to see a biopic of Joplin himself – such an interesting man and life, an incredible talent (ahead of his time). It’s so cool that he began by learning classical music it seems before moving in to ragtime/early jazz. A fascinating part of jazz history.


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