Administration Building (ENMU): Lloyd Moylan “Art” Mural – Portales NM


The abstract mural titled “Art,” by Lloyd Moylan, was funded by the WPA’s Federal Art Project. The medium is tempera on plaster.  There were music classes held on the second floor of the ENMU Administration Building, which explains the choice of a piano mural on the second floor of the building. Later, the classes were moved to former WWII barracks until a new and separate music building was completed around 1958. So the caption might be “Moylan captured the sounds of music through the walls of the school’s Music Dept.”

Nearby, the Golden Library houses this mural’s twin, titled “Science”. As Kathy Flynn says in her book on public art in New Mexico:

They were planned as a pair, with the aim of serving as spiritual stimuli for the students. Regarding these panels, Jonson wrote in 1937: “My desire is to have a fine quality in these works based on, as a starting point, “Art” and “Science.” One panel will place the emphasis on Art—the other on Science (note: my aim is to develop a series of rhythms and forms that can function as Abstract). These works will not be the usual or typical kind of decoration. Rather they will be powerful unusual ideas presented sincerely. As a result of my visit to the College, I have the conviction that there is a spirit of ‘today’ fully aware of what is occurring in the Art worls. My hope is that these works will be a real stimulus to the students there and to all who may have the chance to see them.”


Source notes

Originally posted in the New Deal Art Registry:

Public Art and Architecture in New Mexico 1933-1943: A Guide to the New Deal Legacy, compiled by Kathryn A. Flynn (pp. 101-2)

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


Location Info

1500 South Ave K
Portales, NM 88130

Location notes: Administration Building: 2nd floor

Coordinates: 34.178956, -103.347975

2 comments on “Administration Building (ENMU): Lloyd Moylan “Art” Mural – Portales NM

  1. Melveta Walker

    I think this mural was not painted by Raymond Jonson. The painting “Art” is movable and is temporarily in Bernalillo Hall. We are getting ready to move it back to Golden Library. The mural has no signature on it, but I’m almost sure it is not a Raymond Jonson. If you have any information on the mural, call me at 575-760-2086. Thanks – Melveta

  2. Price Hale

    Regarding the comment posted on May 31. 2018 by Melveta Walker:

    This page appears to be in need of a correction regarding the name of the artist who painted “Art.” The page contradicts itself, identifying the artist as “Lloyd Moylan” in the page title, in the text under “Description,” and in the text next to the image of “Art” shown on this page. But the quoted text from Kathryn A. Flynn identifies Raymond Jonson as the artist. The URL for this page also identifies Jonson as the artist (Even the permalink from the title of this page shows Jonson in the URL):

    The Eastern New Mexico University web site has a dedicated webpage for artwork in the administration building.

    Regrettably, Eastern New Mexico University’s web site adds to the confusion. The page shows only three items: two murals and one sculpture. There is only a brief paragraph on the webpage which contains the following sentence: “The two murals are by well-known artists Lloyd Moylan and S. White.” Lloyd Moylan is identified by multiple sources as the artist who painted the “The 12th Chapter of Ecclesiastes” mural which extends across three walls at the top of the building’s staircase. That presumably leaves “S. White” as the painter of the piano mural titled “Art.” I have seen the name “White” nowhere else, on any site, in relation to the piano mural.

    The Smithsonian Institute’s webpage for Raymond Jonson notes that “he did a series of murals under the auspices of the Public Works of Art Project, and later became one of the artists not on relief employed by the WPA.” It also notes that Jonson taught art at The University of New Mexico (in Albuquerque) beginning in 1934. The page does not mention The University of Eastern New Mexico (in Portales).

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