Appalachian Mural Trail

Famous Art Murals
and Artists

    Some of the most loved artwork in our human history has been mural art. Lonardo da Vinci's "The Last Supper" is a beautiful example. Michelangelo's grand fresco painting on the ceiling of the Sistine Chapel is a breath taking example of remarkable murals. "The Last Judgment" painted on the altar wall of the Sistine Chapel took Michelangelo four years to paint, 1536-1541. As one of the projects in the New Deal during the Great Depression in the United States, the Public Works of Art Project (1933-34) was developed to bring artist workers back into the job market and assure the American public that better financial times were on the way. In 1933, nearly $145 million in public funds was appropriated for the construction of federal buildings, such as courthouses, schools, libraries, post offices and other public structures, nationwide. Under the direction of the Public Works Art Project, the agency oversaw the production of 15,660 works of art by 3,750 artists. These included 700 murals on public display.

    With the ending of the Public Works of Art Project in the summer of 1934, it was decided that the success of the program should be extended by founding the Section of Painting and Sculpture (renamed the Section of Fine Arts in 1938) under the U.S. Treasury Department. The Section of Painting and Sculpture was initiated to commission 1,400 murals in federal post offices buildings in more than 1,300 cities across America. Today some of the murals are worth more than the post office buildings they are located in.

    The Mexican mural movement in the 1930s brought a new prominence to murals as a social and political tool. Diego Rivera, Jose Orozco and David Siqueiros were the most famous artists of the movement. Between 1932 and 1940, Rivera also painted murals in San Francisco, Detroit, and New York City. Edsel Ford commissioned murals by Diego Rivera for DIA in 1932. Composed in fresco style, the five sets of massive murals are known collectively as Detroit Industry, or Man and Machine. The murals were added to a large central courtyard; it was roofed over when the work was executed. The Diego Rivera murals are widely regarded as great works of art and a unique feature of the museum. The murals now are celebrated as one of the DIA's finest assets, and even "one of America's most significant monuments."

    In today's world intercity murals dot the cityscape while in the rural communities murals are a way to celebrate the history and achievements of an area. Many rural towns have begun using murals to create tourist attractions in order to boost economic income. Colquitt, Georgia is one such town. Colquitt was chosen to host the 2010 Global Mural Conference. Other small towns, like West Jefferson, North Carolina, have as many as 17 murals in downtown.

Famous Artists

  • Edwin Abbey
  • Carlos Almaraz
  • Dorothy Annan
  • Judy Baca
  • Arnold Belkin
  • Thomas Hart Benton
  • John T. Biggers
  • Torsten Billman
  • Henry Bird
  • Edwin Howland Blashfield
  • Blek le Rat
  • Steve Bogdanoff
  • Giotto di Bondone
  • Gabriel Bracho
  • Paul Cadmus
  • Doreyl Ammons Cain
  • Eleanor Coen
  • Dean Cornwell
  • Kenyon Cox
  • John Steuart Curry
  • Robert Dafford
  • Dora De Larios
  • Michelle Loughery
  • Santiago Martinez Delgado
  • Faile
  • Shepard Fairey
  • Piero della Francesca
  • Os Gemeos
  • Louis Grell
  • Satish Gujral
  • Manav Gupta
  • Richard Haas
  • Keith Haring
  • Albert Henry Krehbiel
  • Susan Krieg
  • Rainer Maria Latzke
  • Tom Lea
  • Michelle Loughery
  • Will Hicok Low
  • Sofia Maldonado
  • John Anton Mallin
  • Andrea Mantegna
  • Reginald Marsh
  • Knox Martin
  • Peter Max
  • Michelangelo
  • Mario Miranda
  • Claude Monet
  • Roberto Montenegro
  • Frank Nuderscher
  • Violet Oakley
  • Edward O'Brien
  • Juan O'Gorman
  • Pablo O'Higgins
  • Jose Clemente Orozco
  • Rufus Porter
  • Aaron Pina Mora
  • John Pugh
  • Archie Rand
  • Raphael
  • Freydoon Rassouli
  • Diego Rivera
  • Graham Rust
  • P K Sadanandan
  • Sadequain
  • John Singer Sargent
  • Eugene Savage
  • Conrad Schmitt
  • Clement Serveau
  • David Alfaro Siqueiros
  • Frank Stella
  • Rufino Tamayo
  • Titian
  • Alton Tobey
  • Allen Tupper True
  • Kent Twitchell
  • Leonardo da Vinci
  • John Augustus Walker
  • Henry Oliver Walker
  • Lucia Wiley
  • Ezra Winter
  • Richard Wyatt, Jr.
  • Robert Wyland
  • Isaiah Zagar
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    About the Honey Bee Hive

         The Good of the Hive is an artistic initiative founded by Matthew Willey on a personal commitment to hand-paint 50,000 honeybees in murals around the world.

         Matt says, "The Good of the Hive Initiative begins with the struggle of the honeybees, but it also views the hive as a metaphor for communities of people. Honeybees within the hive "think" collectively; their immune system is collective: the health of the individual is based on the health of the collective. Whether that community is an actual honeybee hive or a community of human artists, kids in a school, military veterans, women with cancer, marginalized people or the American people as a whole, the health and success of the individual relies heavily on the connections within the group and consequently between the groups within the greater society. When we connect, we thrive." This is the message of The Good of the Hive Initiative...   Full Article Here



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