Federal Courthouse Mural – Brooklyn NY


Edward Laning completed a mural entitled “The Role of the Immigrant in the Industrial Development of America” in 1938 for the Dining Hall in the Administration Building on Ellis Island with funding from the WPA’s Federal Art Project.

“The mural was 10 feet tall by 190 feet long…The sweep of the mural’s length echoed the grand scope of its narrative” that spanned American immigration history, geography, and industrial development.  Unfortunately, “Most of the mural was ruined in the 1950s when a storm damaged the roof of the facility. Portions of original were salvaged in 1970, when Judge Jacob Mishler of the Eastern Court of New York had several panels restored and re-installed in the federal courthouse in Brooklyn. There, the panels hang in the ceremonial courtroom where immigrants are naturalized.” (Museum of Arts and Sciences)

The panels are still in place.

Source notes

National Archives and Records Administration, Negative 7340-C
"Museum of Arts and Sciences: Lost Mural of Ellis Island", last accessed: September 2015
"New Deal Network", last accessed: September 2015
Ryan Wong, "Breathing Free", BRLYNR #9, Aug 1, 2013, , last accessed: June 2016

We welcome contributions of additional information on any New Deal project site.


Location Info

225 Cadman Plaza East
Brooklyn, NY 11201

Coordinates: 40.6970128, -73.9894236

3 comments on “Federal Courthouse Mural – Brooklyn NY

  1. Can you buy copies?

  2. Andrew Sabori

    In 2008 I reproduced the mural in it entirety and in a slightly smaller version. It reproduction is touring the US. If you are still interested in purchasing copies contact me at [email protected]
    Andrew Sabori

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