Norwalk Transit District’s Restoration and Display of Works Progress Administration Murals
The Norwalk Transit District (NTD) has made a concerted effort to preserve and display the culture and history of Norwalk, Connecticut. From 1935 to 1941, works of art were produced for Norwalk and funded through the Works Progress Administration (WPA), becoming one of the largest and most important collections of Depression-era art in America today.
From the Federal Arts effort, six different artists created 50 murals for Norwalk’s public schools, libraries, post offices and the city hall. Most noteworthy was Alexander Rummler, a Norwalk native, who produced over 1,500 square feet of canvas, to be showcased primarily at Norwalk High School. When the school closed in 1971, however, the public was no longer able to view the murals. A private group undertook a fundraising effort to restore the murals and all but three of the collection of over 40 were completed.
The NTD saw an opportunity to restore the final pieces in conjunction with their new bus storage, maintenance and administration facility. In exchange for the ability to hang five of the pieces in the new building, the district used Federal funds to complete the restoration. It was both a service to the community and enhanced the environment for customers to the new facility. The NTD agreed to provide funds for the restoration of murals, document the City’s entire collection for use on the internet, and publish a book about the mural collection. In return, the NTD was able to incorporate the murals into its new facility.
Throughout the construction process, the NTD worked with the community and showed its commitment to not only improving the efficiency of transit, but reinforcing the pride of Norwalk’s residents. The murals presented on this page represent a few pieces that were restored for the community on behalf of the NTD.
Arthur G. Hull's "China," on display in the lobby of NTD's bus storage, maintenance and administration facility.
This mural is one of four in a series portraying the travels of Marco Polo.
Arthur G. Hull's “India” (left) and “Venice, The Musicians” (right), on display in the lobby of NTD's bus storage, maintenance and administration facility.
*Special thanks to Lew Schulman, Norwalk Transit District, for assistance with this profile.