Riker’s Island Library Mural (missing) – East Elmhurst NY

Project type: Art, Murals
Completed:
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Description

“Beginning in 1936, Alland supervised the Photo-Mural Section of the Federal Art Project. He installed photo-murals at the Newark Public Library (1936) and at the Riker’s Island Penitentiary library (1937).”   (http://dlib.nyu.edu)

The Riker’s Island mural, entitled “Approach to Manhattan” was designed specifically for the prison. As Alland’s submission statement explained:

“The subject of this photomural utilizes the familiar aspects of the normal and happy family in the City. The main purpose of this decoration, besides that of relieving the monotony and changing the aspects of a huge prison hall, into a livable library, where those prisoners who have gained the privilege through their behavior, can enjoy the uses of this library is to reestablish in the inmates (by suggestion) the desires and the values of a wholesome life.”   (cited in Haw)

The New York Historical Society guide to Alland’s work states that the mural no longer remains, but does not specify whether it was demolished or is simply missing.

Source notes

New York Historical Society, Guide to the Alexander Alland Photograph Collection, http://dlib.nyu.edu
Haw, Richard. Art of the Brooklyn Bridge: A Visual History. Routledge, 2012.

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Location Info


14-14 Hazen St.
East Elmhurst, NY 11370

Location notes: Location marker is for Rikers Island. Exact coordinates on island unknown.

Coordinates: 40.7902749, -73.882536

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