Posts Tagged ‘Arthur Willis Oakman’

WPA Muralist and Artist, Elizabeth Tracy

The Harvard Art Museums Archives is featuring an exhibit on WPA muralist and artist Elizabeth Tracy, later known as Tracy Montminy.  Tracy, along with Arthur Willis Oakman, painted the four murals in the Cambridge Public Library’s historic reading room.  The public is free to visit the exhibit this Thursday, October 25th from 12:00pm to 3:00pm, during the museum’s Archives Open Hours

The murals, commissioned by the Civil Works Administration in 1934, depict the ten divisions of knowledge that make up the Dewey decimal cataloguing system, and include:

  • “Religion,” on the east wall of the Delivery Room, featuring the City Seal of Cambridge, flanked by wreaths labeled General Works, Philosophy, Religion, Sociology and Philology.
  • “Fine Arts,” on the west wall of the Delivery Room, with a historic clock at its center, flanked with banners titled Literature, History, Useful Arts, Fine Arts and Pure Science.
  • “History of Books and Paper,” a series of three panels on the east end of the Reading Room, depicts the contributions of Babylon, ancient Egypt, China, Greece and Rome and medieval Europe.
  • “The Development of the Printing Press,” on the west wall of the Delivery Room, is the largest of the set, and follows the evolution of the printing press from Guttenberg in 1449 through the invention of the cylindrical press by Hoe and Co. in 1820. At the center is the 1639 Stephen Daye press of Cambridge, the first press in America.

The four murals were restored in 2009 when the Library was renovated.

Tracy’s mural, Religion, during the 2009 restoration at the Cambridge Public Library.

Tracy’s mural, The Development of the Printing Press, during the 2009 restoration at the Cambridge Public Library.

Read Full Post »