Women’s House of Detention (demolished) Mural (missing) – New York NY

Description

This image shows artist Lucienne Bloch at work on a fresco entitled “Cycle of a Woman’s Life” for the Women’s House of Detention in Greenwich Village, New York City. The mural was completed in 1936 under the WPA’s Federal Art Project.

The concept for the mural was influenced by Bloch’s apprenticeship with Diego Rivera, in which he urged her “… never paint mere decorations, but to always include a message appropriate to the building, Bloch s proposal for Cycle of a Woman’s Life was accepted and the project was completed in 1936. Now lost, the mural pictured a children’s playground in a working-class neighborhood where black and white children play together as mothers watch and chat with each other. The theme, familiar to the prisoners, situated the playground in a cityscape of factories and skyscrapers that effectively block a view of the horizon. In the spirit of the FAP s purposes, Bloch’s subject related directly to the lives of her audience, women from the world of poverty, hunger, and little formal education.” (American Women at Work: Women Printmakers and the Federal Art Project). A community garden is now located on the site where the Women’s House of Detention stood from 1929 to 1973 (New York Public Library).

Source notes

National Archives and Records Administration, Negative 13265-C
"American Women at Work: Women Printmakers and the Federal Art Project", Last accessed: 9/17/2015
"New York Public Library", Last accessed: 9/17/2015

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Location Info


14 Greenwich Avenue
New York , NY 10011

Coordinates: 40.7346409, -73.9999528

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