Interdependence of Industry and Agriculture by Phil ReismanPhotograph by Levy for the WPA/FAP Photographic Division on July 21, 1937, series 127, exhibit HW, approved Mar. 8, 1938.
In 1936 Phil Reisman was one of over twelve artists commissioned by the Federal Art Project arm of the Works Progress Administration to paint a series of murals for the Psychiatric Building at Bellevue Hospital. With funding provided by the Federal Art Project, Reisman completed work on the mural entitled “Interdependence of Industry and Agriculture” for the men’s therapy room in the Psychiatric Building at Bellevue Hospital in the late 1930s.
In an article about Reisman’s prints for the Charles Marvin Fairchild Memorial Gallery, George D. Bianco writes that “[t]he mural [at Bellevue Hospital], painted in egg tempera, depicted various American industrial scenes and showed a productive, hopeful portrayal of life.” This evidently contrasted with much of Reisman’s other work of the same period which tended to ” …depict the homeless and the downtrodden.” Bianco records Reisman as saying “I do not see any romance or poetic sentiment in this very harsh economic system…I have tried to paint things as they are, and I am dissatisfied with things as they are.”
We know that one of the murals at Bellevue hospital entitled “Materials for Relaxation” by David Margolis has been restored. However, The Living New Deal needs further information to determine the current status of the other WPA murals painted for Bellevue Hospital.
The Prints of Philip Reisman (1904-1992): Memories of Life on the Lower East Side The New York City Design Commission: Bellevue Hospital WPA Murals Syracuse University Libraries Special Collections Research Center: Philip Reisman Papers
Project originally submitted by Frank da Cruz on July 1, 2017.
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