Magnificent Murals Last Updated 11/18
If the weather drives you indoors, take advantage with a survey course on Connecticut’s murals. These large-size gems are well worth seeking out, and they represent a thrilling variety of styles and subject matter. Tackle them one at a time or make it a tour – but be assured there’s no such thing as cabin fever in these rooms.
New Britain Museum of American Art
Thomas Hart Benton’s “Arts of Life in America” was first unveiled in New York City in 1932, and later removed to New Britain in 1953, where, at the New Britain Museum of American Art, it has dazzled viewers ever since. Four huge wall panels and four more on the ceiling depict the “arts” of everyday life, including music, games, dance and sports, and other subjects as well.
Wadsworth Atheneum Museum of Art
Work has been completed in Hartford on the Wadsworth Atheneum Museum of Art‘s spectacular renovation and artistic renaissance, all worth going to see, including Sol Lewitt’s brilliantly colored, wildly configured murals in the museum’s entrance gallery. The wall drawings measure 20 feet wide by 45 feet high and are almost certain to lift the mood on a dreary afternoon.
Yale Peabody Museum of Natural History
The murals of Rudolph F. Zallinger at New Haven’s Yale Peabody Museum of Natural History are known to millions because of their appearance in Life magazine and later in a popular Time-Life book called The World We Live In. Both “The Age of Reptiles” and “The Age of Mammals” will fascinate viewers of any age and bring many back to their own childhood when they first saw these creatures walking the earth.
Norwalk City Hall and Other Public Spaces
Known as Norwalk’s hidden treasure, the WPA murals of Norwalk City Hall are part of one of the largest and most important collections of restored Depression-era art in the country. The Works Progress Administration (WPA) was created in 1935 to provide economic relief to American citizens following the Great Depression. Under President Franklin D Roosevelt, artists created dramatic work to promote this program. Today, very few of these murals remain, but 30 murals and panels can be found at Norwalk City Hall. Contact the Norwalk Historical Society for self-guided or arranged guided tours.
Many of Connecticut’s public buildings served as canvases for mural painters during the Great Depression of the 1930s, and much of the work survives to this day. Some of the best murals have been catalogued here, and together they could make an interesting road trip. And for a larger-than-life look at history, be sure to view the murals adorning the walls and ceiling of the courtroom in Hartford’s Supreme Court Building.
The New London Mural Walk
Take a walk on the artistic side with the New London Mural Walk. Lasting from 30 minutes to an hour, this walk will take you past national historic landmark buildings, as well as through neighborhoods with just some of the city's bustling shops, eclectic restaurants, breathtaking waterfront park and many art galleries.
The Aldrich Contemporary Art Museum
The Aldrich Contemporary Art Museum in Ridgefield has been at the forefront of contemporary art for over 50 years. In addition to paintings, you will also find the walls and floors of the Aldrich feature sculpture and many non-traditional items that create a truly striking experience.
More Murals to Come
Planning to open its doors in the fall of 2019, The American Mural Project will make its home in Winsted, where visitors of all ages can view and marvel at the largest piece of collaborative artwork in the world. At 120 feet long, five stories high and up to ten feet deep, this three dimensional mural is intended to be a tribute to the working people of the United States, and was started over a dozen years ago. When finished, the project will also feature a visitor's center.