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Mural for the Santa Monica Library: Prologue (mountain tops)

1934-1935 Stanton Macdonald-Wright Born: Charlottesville, Virginia 1890 Died: Los Angeles, California 1973 oil on wood 28 1/2 x 60 in. (72.3 x 152.3 cm.) Smithsonian American Art Museum Transfer from the City of Santa Monica, California 1966.103.4 Not currently on view


Exhibition Label

The Santa Monica public library murals were executed with funding from the Public Works of Art Project (PWAP), a six-month pilot program begun in December 1933. The PWAP, which served as a precursor to both the Section of Painting and Sculpture and the Works Progress Administration's Federal Art Project, was established to determine the viability of federal arts programming within the larger New Deal agenda.

MacDonald-Wright created a series of thirty-eight panels depicting two streams of human development: one technical, the other imaginative. The prologue section shows the pursuits of primitive man; later panels present accomplishments in the arts and sciences and portray figures in the history of mathematics, astronomy, music, art, and literature. The series culminates in scenes of the region's motion picture industry, representing the fusion of technology and imagination in modern American life.

Special Delivery: Murals for the New Deal Era, 1988

Keywords

Landscape - mountain

Landscape - weather - cloud

painting

paint - oil

wood

About Stanton Macdonald-Wright

Born: Charlottesville, Virginia 1890 Died: Los Angeles, California 1973

More works in the collection by
Stanton Macdonald-Wright