Udall Department of the Interior Building: Sheets Murals – Washington DC

Project type: Art, Murals
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Description

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. 

Millard Sheets produced a four-panel, oil-on-canvas mural, “The Negro’s Contribution in the Social and Cultural Development of America”, featuring The Arts, Education, Science and Religion. This imposing set of murals was commissioned by the Treasury Section of Fine Arts in 1939 but not installed until 1948, owing to disagreements over the original subject matter. While Sheets was white, he sought to express “my high regard and feeling for the Negro.” (Negro was the general term for African Americans at the time).

The murals are installed around the Grand Staircase on the 1st floor.

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.

Source notes

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

www.doi.gov

http://www.wpamurals.com/washdc.htm

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Millard_Sheets

Project originally submitted by Charles Swaney on March 22, 2015.
Additional contributions by Richard Walker.

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Location Info


1849 C Street NW
Washington, DC 20240

Coordinates: 38.8943, -77.0425

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