Stackpole bas-relief, Interior Building - Washington DC"Powell Exploring the Grand Canyon"
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.
Two large bas-relief panels are mounted on either side of the stage of the auditorium, one by Heinz Warneke and one by Ralph Stackpole. Warneke’s was commissioned in 1937 by the Treasury Section of Fine Arts and installed in 1939; Stockpole’s was commissioned in 1938 and installed in 1940. The panels are 10′ high by 4′ wide. Warneke’s is cast stone and Stockpole’s is Indiana limestone.
Heinz Warneke treats the “Lewis and Clark Expedition” and Stockpole portrays “Powell Exploring the Grand Canyon”. When “Warneke learned that Stackpole intended a water scene,… he changed his portrayal of Lewis and Clark to be one of them on land.” (wikipedia.org)
The Department of Interior Museum offers regular artworks 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 Charles Swaney on March 22, 2015.
Additional contributions by Richard Walker.
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