University of New Hampshire Murals – Durham NH


“Three New Hampshire artists were hired to paint a series of murals for the University Library [then the Hamilton Smith Library]. These murals were painted under direction of Omer T. Lassonde, State Supervisor of the New Hampshire WPA Art Project. Today, the one remaining mural is in Room 141 of Hamilton-Smith Hall” ( Each artist also wrote about his or her own work on the murals. Selections from these texts follow:

The mural “Farming in New Hampshire” by George Lloyd was in the reserve room. Lloyd wrote: “This is a mural on farming in New Hampshire, It deals with the four seasons of the year— Spring, Summer, Fall and Winter; and with the four main social institutions around which the farming community is centered— the Home, Town Meeting, School and Church.

The design or structure of the mural Is based upon the diversified type of farming in New Hampshire; the character of the land and its people, in accordance with other present developments in the state in general. No one particular farmer is portrayed in the mural, but rather a representative figure is shown. No attempt has been made to idealize the N. H. farmer, but rather an effort has been made to show him in a constructive way. The mural is limited to fact.”  (

A series of WPA murals by Gladys Brannigan were installed in the newspaper room: “The panels in the Newspaper Room were designed to show, in abstract form, all the various kinds of news handled daily at great speed, by the metropolitan newspapers of the world. The theme of each panel is news of the activity it deals with, not the activity itself.”   (

The mural “Industry in New Hampshire” by Arthur Esner was installed in the Reference Room: “For the mural in the Reference room I have taken as my theme “Industry in New Hampshire. The subject is approached from a contemporary point of view in keeping with the spirit of the University.

For reasons of clarity and design only the outstanding industrial activities of the State are included in the mural. These cover Farming, Shoe and Textile Manufacturing;, Recreation and Logging. To facilitate the following discussion I have divided the mural into panels under the above headings, plus the inclusion of a center panel.

Since the major industries of New Hampshire are shoe and textile manufacturing these panels occupy the center of the mural. Recreation activities, which are recognized as a third major Industry in this State, farming and logging are relatively placed.”   (

Source notes

Project originally submitted by Andrew Laverdiere on May 26, 2014.

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Location Info

95 Main St
Durham, NH 03824

Coordinates: 43.1358514, -70.931063

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