Frances Badger completed these two oil-on-canvas murals, entitled “Sailor with Spyglass” and “Treasure Island,” in 1936 with funds provided by the Works Progress Administration’s Federal Art Project. They were originally painted for the Louis Stevenson Playground but have since been moved to the second floor of the Oak Park Historical Society, where they were restored in 1996. A third mural at that site has been lost.
Badger “was one of the foremost female WPA artists in Illinois. In addition to her murals in Oak Park, she also painted four murals for what was then a girls’ detention center in Joliet and still has her work displayed in Chicago’s Union League Club.
“Badger was a victim of sexism by jealous male artists who pushed her out of the WPA before she could begin several other works…. Although she continued to paint until 1994, Badger never again painted on the grand scale of the murals she did during the WPA’s heyday, said [Barton] Faist, an art historian who specializes in works of the 1930s to the ’50s.” (Chicago Tribune)
Originally posted in the New Deal Art Registry: http://www.newdealartregistry.org/ http://articles.chicagotribune.com/1996-05-27/news/9605270145_1_murals-historical-society-oak-park
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