Kennedy Department of Justice: Robinson Murals – Washington DC

Project type: Art, Murals
Completed:
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Description

The New Deal is responsible for a magnificent array of artworks that embellish the Department of Justice building. The Treasury Section of Fine Arts commissioned artists to create 68 murals between 1936 and 1941 for $68,000, or one percent of the building cost.  The building’s murals depict scenes of daily life from American history and allegories on the role of justice in American society.

Boardman Robinson painted an enormous set of 18 tempera murals “Great Events and Figures of Law” in 1938, covering roughly 1000 square feet of canvas. The murals surround the stairway leading to The Great Hall on the 2d floor.

The figures and subjects cover everything from Rome and the Bible to Medieval Europe to English common law and the US Constitution.  A few examples are shown here. For more, see the 75th anniversary publication of the Department of Justice (2009), which can be found online.

 

Source notes

U.S. Department of Justice, The Robert F. Kennedy Building: Celebrating Art and Architecture on the 75th Anniversary, 1934-2009, pp. 71-78.

 

Project originally submitted by Charles Swaney on March 14, 2014.
Additional contributions by Richard Walker.

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Location Info


950 Pennsylvania Avenue, NW
Washington, DC 20530

Coordinates: 38.8929, -77.0250

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