John Warner Norton, a charter member of The Cliff Dwellers, became one of the most accomplished and sought-after muralists in Chicago and across the United States by 1920. Earlier, however, in 1910 as Norton’s career and The Cliff Dwellers were both newly beginning, one of his first commissions titled "Navaho" became one of the private club’s earliest acquisitions of art. "Navaho" was recently conserved by The Conservation Center.
Winchester Hiram Lodge, N. 21, A.F. & A.M. in Winchester, Virginia, contains an extraordinary lodge room with murals on all four walls and the ceiling. These murals were painted in 1868 by Mr. Ango from the Peabody Institute of Baltimore in the fresco secco style, and depict images important to the Mason tradition. Surrounding these images are trompe l’oeil painted elements making the room look full of columns and marble panels. The ceiling is also painted with images and has a small dome in the center.
There Was a Vision, by George M. Smith, was commissioned in 1938 by the Section of Fine Arts mural program of the Treasury Department. This large rectangular-format allegorical mural scene represents the hopes and dreams of the immigrants and settlers who moved to the Midwest in search of a better life.
The Wabash YMCA, listed on the National Registrar of Historic Places, has had both a colorful and difficult past. Located in the historic Bronzeville district, the structure was originally built in 1913. During its heyday, from the ’20s to the ’40s, the Y served the basic needs of the black community during the Great Migration, the movement bringing African-American workers from the South to Chicago and other northern cities.
The Lucy Flower High School houses Edward Millman’s 1940 “Outstanding American Women” WPA fresco. The H. 9′ X W. 54′ mural depicts scenes from the lives of Lucy Flower, Grace Abbott, Frances Perkins, Jane Addams, Susan B. Anthony, Harriet Beecher Stowe, and Clara Barton. In 1941, one year after its completion, the mural was painted over with two layers of paint, one red calcimine layer and one layer of white oil paint.