Current Events


California: WPA School Murals San Francisco: Major Upheaval over the decision of the San Francisco Board of Education’s decision to cover a series of 13 WPA murals created by Victor Arnautoff at the Washington High School.  The subject of the murals is “The Life of George Washington” and includes images of a dead Native American and slaves at work. A debate about the series has been going on for half a century but recently came to a head
with both sides of the issue standing firm. The New York Time did a big article about it on June 29, 2019 as did the Wall Street Journal. Former Nat. New Deal Preservation Assoc. board member, Gray A. Brechin who is a scholar at the Living New Deal documentary project and archive has noted, “My fear is that if they are successful at destroying the murals, then no art that anyone finds offensive will be safe……Are we to have a Museum of
Suppressed Art to continue this program of images?” Read more about this by clicking this link: GWHS Murals LaborFest Panel Introduction

The Coalition to Protect Public Art is charitable group that
has been established to accept charitable tax deductible donations to
protect the murals from destruction at this  school. Their
address is George Washington High School Alumni Association                                          Attn: Save the Murals
780 Arguello Street
Redwood City, CA 94063


New Mexico: A similar situation exists at the University of New Mexico’s Zimmerman Library. Four murals there were all by created by Kenneth Adams but are facing a similar situation since UNM’s Board of Regents has decided to cover them up but have not determined what method they will use to accomplish the cover up. At this point they are not talking about destroying but either using curtains or a special opaque glass. Either could
be destructive to the paint in the murals over time since they need light. The library building is a New Deal financed structure but the murals were paid for Carnegie Institute.

New Mexico: The NM Chapter of NNDPA currently has a Photo Exhibit at the First Methodist Church in downtown Albuquerque, NM. It includes some 50 framed photos of New Deal public art from various locations around the state in their Welcome Center on Third Street. They are opened five days a week and on Sundays and welcome visitors.  Other Photo Exhibits are available thru this group since we have a large collection to choose from both color and b/w framed photos which have been well received at any site that have hosted such a show. Reservations for an exhibit are possible by contacting
the numbers available in Santa Fe office.  Rental exhibits are generally $150 for a three month stay and includes a lecture by the NNDPA Executive Director at the opening of the exhibit or as desired.

“NM’s New Deal Public Art”– contact Kathy Flynn at newdeallegacy.org for
details. 505-690-5845.


Maine : The Frances Perkins Center in Newcastle, ME has set the dates for their upcoming 2019 Homestead Tours.  The morning tours (9am to 12p.m.) will include visiting the privately owned Perkins family 1837 Brick House and a walk to the Damariscotta River, earlier family homestead foundations, site of a family garrison and remnants of the Perkins family brick making activity. The afternoon tours from 1:30 to 3:30p.m. include the tour of the family Brick House. Light refreshments will be provided and sturdy walking shoes and a hat are recommended. Tickets are $22 per person and reservations are required. Call 207-563-3374 or email to info@francesperkinscenter.org  Please be aware that the House is not handicapped accessible.

Traveling Exhibit including exhibit and 30 minute video on the life and legacy of Frances Perkins” Contact Chris Cash, Program Director at Frances Perkins Center. 307-563-3374 or email ccash@francesperkinscenter.org Perkins Center is located in New Castle, Maine


Idaho, Montana, Oregon and Washington : Watch for new book that Margaret Bullock is creating that will feature the New Deal Public Art in Idaho, Montana, Oregon and Washington states. The publisher is Univ. of  Washington Press.