WPA Murals at Norwalk City Hall
In order to raise awareness about the 31 WPA murals housed at Norwalk City Hall in a permanent and free exhibition, Norwalk 2.0 produced dynamic banners and signage with engaging copy as part of our Fence Art Project. As one of the largest and most important collections of restored Depression-era art in America, the murals offer a window into Norwalk’s past with a connection to the present.
President Franklin Delano Roosevelt established the Works Progress Administration (WPA) as part of the New Deal in 1935 at the height of the Great Depression. The goal was to get 3.5 million people off relief and back to work. Over the course of eight years, the WPA Federal Art Project employed some 5,000 artists who were paid by the hour to create more than 2500 murals for public buildings throughout the country.
From 1935 to 1941, WPA artists created more than 50 works of arts for Norwalk’s public schools, libraries and post offices.
While much of the WPA art nationally has been lost or destroyed, most of Norwalk’s collection was rescued and restored thanks to leadership from the Historical Commission, private donors, and a grant from the Federal General Services Administration. The Norwalk collection consists of nearly 50 murals, 31 of which are located at City Hall.
About this Project
This exhibit was produced by Norwalk 2.0 with the help of research and artifacts from Dorothy Mobilia, Peter Bondi, the Norwalk Preservation Trust, the Norwalk Historical Society, the City of Norwalk, the Norwalk Historical Commission, the Norwalk Public Library and the Norwalk Redevelopment Agency. Funding was provided by the State of Connecticut DECD Office of the Arts and many individual supporters.