August Biehle Jr's Mural Map: THe Ohio Canal
“In the Cleveland region, the Cleveland Public Library was the largest recipient of art that was funded by Federal programs in the Depression era. The leadership of Linda Eastman, Library Director from 1918 to 1938, was crucial. She believed in the importance of the arts in supporting learning and she was encouraged by the enthusiasm of her brother, painter William Joseph Eastman.
Three major murals were painted for the Main Library Building; six murals were painted for branch libraries; children’s sections were decorated with ceramics and dolls (pg 33) that served as aids during story-telling; numerous easel paintings portrayed historical and literary themes; and prints from the graphics’ workshop filled library walls and flat files. The Library has been an excellent steward of this legacy, and has continued the tradition of incorporating art into its buildings to this day—as new branches have been built over the past several decades, art has always been part of the building project.” (Dean and Marling)
August Biehle painted “Ohio Canal” in 1934 with funding from the PWAP. It is a 113″ x 60″ oil on canvas mural. It was formerly on the 3rd floor of the Main Library and the East 131st Street Branch, and is now in the Main Library’s Fine Arts Department.
Sharon E. Dean and Karal Ann Marling, Covering History: Revisiting Federal Art in Cleveland, 1933-43. The Cleveland Public Library and the Cleveland Artists Foundation, 2006. (Quote: p. 56). Cleveland Public Library: http://www.cpl.org/BooksMoviesMore/OnlineExhibitHall/NewDealArtCollection/Murals.aspx
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