Louis Bouché, "Conservation", Dept of Interior - Washington DC
The Stewart Lee Udall Department of the Interior building contains one of the largest collections of New Deal art in Washington DC, by some of the finest American artists of the time.
In 1938, Louis Bouché won a competition held by the Treasury Section of Fine Arts to paint a backdrop for the Department auditorium. He produced a giant triptych called “Conservation – Western Lands and Symbols of the Interior Department.” It is almost 12 feet high; the central section is 15 feet wide and the two side panels are over 4 feet wide.
It was removed in 1971 for many years but recently restored and reinstalled in the auditorium.
The Department of Interior Museum offers regular mural tours; check their website for information and registration.
For more information on the Interior building, its art and the artists, see Look and Perrault 1986 (below – available online). Artworks begin on p. 110.
Look, David and Carole Perrault. The Interior Building: Its Architecture and Its Art. Washington DC: US Department of Interior, National Park Service, 1986. pp. 110-172. https://babel.hathitrust.org/cgi/pt?id=mdp.39015029850214&view=1up&seq=1
Project originally submitted by Richard Walker on April 5, 2020.
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