During the Great Depression, the Works Projects Administration paid artists across the country to paint murals on the walls of federal buildings. A cafeteria in Ellis Island was home to one such mural, by Edward Laning. Although most of the original panels of the Laning mural are now lost, a reproduction is on display at the naturalization center in Morrow, Georgia. Interestingly enough, the primary audiences for both the original mural and for the reproduction are the same—new American citizens.
Listen as Andrew Sabori talks with host John Lemley about why he cared so deeply about recreating a mural that was on display for less than a dozen years.
The reproduction of “The Role of the Immigrant in the Industrial Development in America" is on display at the National Archives in Morrow through December 31st.