Cohen Federal Building: Guston Fresco – Washington DC

Project type: Art, Murals
Completed:
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Description

The Wilbur J. Cohen building, originally built for the Social Security Administration in 1938-1940, is home to a magnificent collection of social security themed artworks funded by the Treasury Section of Fine Arts.

One of the artworks is a large fresco stage curtain in the auditorium by Philip Guston, “Reconstruction and Well-Being of the Family” (1942).

The Social Security Administration never occupied the building, which was turned over to the War Department in 1941.  After the war, the Federal Security Agency (FSA), under which the Social Security Board had been placed in 1939, moved into the building. In 1953, the Department of Health, Education and Welfare, succeeded the FSA and subsequently became part of the Department of Health and Human Services in 1980. In 1988, the building was renamed in honor of Wilbur J. Cohen,  the first employee of the Social Security Board and later Secretary of Health, Education and Welfare.

Source notes

Project originally submitted by Charles Swaney on March 14, 2014.
Additional contributions by Richard Walker.

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Location Info


330 Independence Ave. SW
Washington, DC 20201

Coordinates: 38.8867, -77.0164

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