Detail of Gerald Nailor, "Preparing Yarn For Weaving"
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.
From 1939 to 1941, Gerald Nailor, a Navajo, and other Indian artists were invited by the Treasury Section of Fine Arts to Washington to study with Olaf Normandy and then paint murals in the Interior building.
In the South Penthouse (8th floor), Nailor painted three large murals called “Navajo Scenes” in 1940: “Preparing Yarn For Weaving” (West Wall), “The Hunting Ground” (South Wall on both side of entry door) and “Initiation Ceremony” (West Wall).
Nailor also painted a wall mural in the Arts and Crafts Shop.
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. 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
McLerran, Jennifer. 2009. A New Deal for Native Art: Indian Arts and Federal Policy, 1933-1943. University of Arizona Press.
Project originally submitted by New Deal Art Registry on December 30, 2014.
Additional contributions by Richard A Walker.
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