Mosholu Parkway
and Paul Avenue


Alfred Floegel
The History of the World and Constellations, 1941
oil on canvas, 928 sq. ft.
Board of Education / WPA

Charles Yardley Turner
Opening the Erie Canal, 1905
2 murals, oil on canvas
150" x 189"
Board of Education / WPA

 



DeWitt Clinton High School is the site of two mural projects, one of which dates from the turn of the century and is the oldest mural commissioned by the Board of Education. Opening of the Erie Canal (1905), by the American Renaissance painter Charles Yardley Turner, is made up of two oil on canvas murals, 150" x 189" each. The murals celebrate the opening of the Erie Canal in 1825 and were commissioned to celebrate the 80th anniversary of the creation of the waterway which linked New York City ports and the Great Lakes. These murals were originally created for the school when it was located at Tenth Avenue and 58th Street (now John Jay College.) The first mural, Entering the Mohawk Valley, depicts an extensive autumnal landscape with figures of men and women standing and sitting on the prow of a canal boat festooned with garlands; another independent figure is leaning on a stone pier above the group. The second mural, The Marriage of the Waters, depicts a man pouring water over the side of the boat from a keg labeled "Water of Lake Erie" and a canal boat decorated with the American flag on which the male figures, some in uniforms of foreign nations, stand under a banner on which the seal of New York State is prominently visible. In the background are boats flying the flags of many nations.

In the third floor corridor outside the library there are two WPA sponsored murals by Alfred Floegel (born in Germany in 1894) with Fosden Ransom as collaborator and Burgoyne Diller, assistant technical director. The History of the World represents various stages in the progress of civilization in a variety of countries. Constellations portrays the constellations and zodiac signs (1934).


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