Kennedy Department of Justice Building: Curry Murals – Washington DC

Project type: Art, Murals
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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.

John Steuart Curry provided two oil on canvas lunettes, “Movement of the Population Westward” and “Law Versus Mob Rule, ” in 1937.  Curry was key artist in the Regionalist movement of the time.

“‘Movement Westward’ captures the hardships faced by pioneer families as they ventured west in covered wagons. Here, the challenges of the trail force a balance between justice and social needs…. In ‘Law Versus Mob Violence’, Curry shows a desperate man fleeing from the lawless mob and taking refuge with constituted authority.” (DoJ 2009, p. 70)

The Curry murals are located on the fifth floor, south central elevator lobby.

 

Source notes

U.S. Department of Justice, The Robert F. Kennedy Building: Celebrating Art and Architecture on the 75th Anniversary, 1934-2009, pp. 69-70.

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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