Middle School Murals - Royal Oak MI
Three very large New Deal murals hang in the auditorium of the Royal Oak Middle School.
The first two, “The Naming of Royal Oak” and “The Value of Arts, Culture, and Science,” were painted by Andrew Maglia. The third, “Career Paths,” was painted by Bronislaw Makielski. Maglia worked on the first two paintings, then bowed out for lack of funds; when funding was renewed, Makielski was commissioned to complete the project. Apparently, Makielski was substantially aided by his brother on the third mural.
The murals were commissioned by the Federal Arts Project of the Works Progress Administration (WPA), though exact information about the funds and dates of the commissions is lacking.
The murals are oil-on-canvas and each measures 11 x 23 feet. They were rediscovered in 2004 after being in storage for over 25 years and rehung in the Middle School auditorium. It is not clear if this is the original placement of the murals.
The Royal Oak Mural Project is claimed to be the largest WPA art project in Michigan.
Ruben Rodriguez of VideoWorks Inc. created a one-hour documentary, “The Murals of Royal Oak,” on the recovery of the murals. Copies of the DVD are available for purchase.
Project originally submitted by Meg Anthony on February 24, 2014.
Additional contributions by Dale Carlson.
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