Arsenal Lobby MuralsThe upper panel shows Civil War scenes including a Zouave unit in red pants, perhaps the 14th Brooklyn "Red Legged Devils". Below, Central Park scenes including a portrait of the Arsenal itself.
In 1935-36, the Arsenal was renovated by the New York City Parks Department using Depression-era relief labor paid for by New Deal programs (WPA and FERA). Afterward, the lobby walls was covered floor to ceiling with murals by Allen Saalburg and his assistants. Saalburg was the WPA’s Director of Murals for the NYC Parks Department.
In the murals, “Saalburg depicted a series of scenes depicting recreational activities, notable park structures, and flagship parks. The project was funded by the Federal Works Progress Administration.” (www.nycgovparks.org)
“In 1935, Juliana Force, the director of the Whitney Museum and organizer of the first Federal Art Program in New York, introduced Saalburg’s work to the parks commissioner, Robert Moses, who put him in charge of the WPA mural projects for the entire parks department. Projects included the Old Stone House at Gowanus in Brooklyn, the Arsenal in Central Park (where Moses had his office), the barroom of the newly created Tavern on the Green, and the terrace restaurant at the zoo.” (Saalburg entry in askART)
http://www.kermitproject.org/newdeal/centralpark/arsenal1.html http://www.kermitproject.org/newdeal/centralpark/murals1.html http://www.nycgovparks.org/about/history/the-arsenal
Project originally submitted by Frank da Cruz on July 23, 2015.
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