Recorder of Deeds Building: Portraits – Washington DC

Project type: Art Works, Paintings
Started:
Completed:
Quality of Information:
Marked:
Site Survival:
View Project in a Separate Window

Description

In 1936, three WPA artists—Henry Wadsworth Moore, Velma Buckner, and Alan Flavelle—painted portraits of 11 former Washington, DC Recorders of Deeds, for placement in the Recorders’ office space at 412 D Street NW.  When the new Recorder of Deeds Building was constructed in 1941-1943, at 515 D Street NW (and funded by the New Deal’s Public Works Administration), the portraits were moved there.

The current location(s) of these portraits is unknown to the Living New Deal, but they could still be in the 515 D Street NW building (the building has been closed to the public for many years, after the Recorder of Deeds moved to a different address).

The new Recorder of Deeds building, President Franklin Roosevelt’s attendance at its groundbreaking ceremony, and the artworks in the building were all considered to be forward developments in race relations (many of DC’s Recorders had been African American, for example, Frederick Douglass).

Source notes

600 See Unveiling of 11 Portraits,” Evening Star, December 13, 1936, p. B-5 (accessed September 5, 2020).

Recorder of Deeds Building – Application for Historic Landmark of Historic District Designation,” Government of the District of Columbia, Historic Preservation Office, 2011 (accessed September 5, 2020).

Sara A. Butler, “Groundbreaking in New Deal Washington, DC: Art, Patronage, and Race at the Recorder of Deeds Building,” Winterthur Portfolio, Vol. 45, No. 4 (Winter 2011), pp. 277-320 (accessed September 5, 2020).

Project originally submitted by Brent McKee on September 14, 2020.

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

SUBMIT MORE INFORMATION OR PHOTOGRAPHS FOR THIS SITE

Location Info


515 D Street NW
Washington, DC 20001

Coordinates: 38.8950, -77.0195

Leave a Reply

Before leaving a comment, please note:

  • Comments allow viewers to share information with others or alert us to errors or changes in a New Deal site.
  • We are not involved in the management of New Deal sites and have no information about visits, hours or rentals.
  • This page shows all the information we have for this site; if you have new information or photos to share, click below.

SUBMIT MORE INFORMATION OR PHOTOGRAPHS FOR THIS SITE

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

Your email address will not be published.

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.