Public Art, Private Expression
BY Christopher Harrity
July 20 2013 3:00 AM ET
Edward Lanning, Blast Furnace (detail)
Edward Lanning, "The Role of the Immigrant in the Industrial Development of America," 1935
WPA Federal Art Project mural originally hung in the dining room at Ellis Island and now hangs in the Ceremonial Courtroom at the Theodore Roosevelt Courthouse in Brooklyn, New York. The panels hanging in the court represent a portion of the original work — most of which was destroyed in the early '50s when a violent storm ripped the roof off of the building. The painting depicts the construction of the Central and Union Pacific railroads by Chinese and Irish laborers.