WPA Mural Studies
History Detectives searches for connections between a collection of unusual paintings and the largest job creation program in America's history.
FDR’s New Deal work programs will put more than 8 million back to work. And not everyone is laying roads and mixing cement – the program also employs over 40,000 in various arts projects. This unprecedented harnessing of artistic talent will create thousands of paintings, sculptures and murals for public buildings across the country. But today, nearly a third of this artwork is missing. What happened to these important pieces of our nation’s history?
Evelyn Cook of Molalla, Oregon, has inherited some paintings that may be part of this lost work. Created by her aunt, Thelma Johnson Streat, she believes they were mural studies commissioned by the WPA in the 1930’s or 1940’s. The color illustrations depict contributions of African Americans in the fields of medicine, transportation and industry.
Did any of these studies become murals and do any of Streat's murals still exist?
- Also with Elyse Luray Ronald McDonald Costume Is this the costume that helped serve up a billion Happy Meals?
- Also with Elyse Luray Pebble in the Sand Is this rock found on a beach a link to an ancient civilization or just another pebble in the sand?
- Also with Elyse Luray Connecticut Farmhouse Why did this Connecticut farmhouse have so many owners in such a short space of time?
- Related Investigation George Washington Portrait Could this be an authentic portrait of the nation's first president?
- Also in Depression and WWII: 1929-1945 Texas POW Camp Was this small town in Texas the home of a WWII POW camp?
- Also in Depression and WWII: 1929-1945 Exercise Records What role did these records play in the sculpting of america's fixation with fitness?
This is a place for opinions, comments, questions and discussion; a place where viewers of History Detectives can express their points of view and connect with others who value history. We ask that posters be polite and respectful of all opinions. History Detectives reserves the right to delete comments that don’t conform to this conduct. We will not respond to every post, but will do our best to answer specific questions, or address an error.