On this day in Alabama history: Artist installed 11 WPA murals in Mobile’s Old City Hall

On this day in Alabama history: Artist installed 11 WPA murals in Mobile’s Old City Hall
Mobile artist John Augustus Walker (1901-1967) is seen during the 1930s working on his mural Fraternity that currently is displayed at the Museum of Mobile. Walker is best known for his artwork created under the Works Progress Administration during the Great Depression. (From Encyclopedia of Alabama, Courtesy of the Museum of Mobile)

July 25, 1936

Artist John Augustus Walker installed 11 murals for the federal Works Progress Administration (WPA) in Mobile’s Old City Hall, now the History Museum of Mobile. The brightly colored oil murals depicted the history of Mobile and included subjects such as Mardi Gras, transportation, education and slavery. They were the only WPA mural project awarded to Mobile, and Walker received $145 for his work. In 1939, Walker contracted with the WPA and Alabama Extension Service to produce 29 watercolor murals depicting the state’s agricultural history. His works won many awards and continue to stand as prime examples of WPA-related and Great Depression-era art.

Read more at Encyclopedia of Alabama.

For more on Alabama’s Bicentennial, visit Alabama 200.

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