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Seward Park Housing Murals

About this listing

1939 murals depicting Franklin Roosevelt and Einstein, among others

Place Details

Borough : Manhattan
Neighborhood : Lower East Side
Public Art, Education

Place Matters Profile

The four Hugo Gellert murals depicting Thomas Jefferson, Abraham Lincoln, Franklin D. Roosevelt, and Albert Einstein were commissioned in 1959 by the International Ladies Garment Workers Union, when the Seward Park Housing co-op was originally constructed. During the building’s history, the murals have been threatened a number of times, including in 1996 when the houses voted to become a private co-op. The co-op board wanted to redecorate the lobby and a vote came up to keep or get rid of them—some thought they were racist, ugly, socialist, or past their time (New York Times, February 8th, 1998). The current manager, Frank Durant, is adamant about preserving them.

The murals are significant as part of the progressive housing and labor movements in New York City, as well as the modernist/realist art of the 1930s-40s. Other murals by the artist Hugo Gellert in New York City have been destroyed. The murals are...

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On The Web

Seward Park Cooperative
Art of the Print about Hugo Gellert
Hugo Gellert's Seward Park Murals

Nominations

Anonymous Nominator

Nominated through the Labor History Community Focus project.



Anonymous NominatorThe four Hugo Gellert murals were commissioned in 1959 by the International Ladies Garment Workers Union, when the Seward Park Housing co-op was originally constructed. A previous campaign was successful in preserving the murals when the

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Website : https://placematters.net/node/1473

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