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"The First Requisite," Important Art Deco-WPA Mural Study Depicting Laborers


This important and very rare mural study, executed in oil on canvas, was painted by Dunbar Beck in the 1930s, evidently for a project that was never completed. The painting depicts in classic WPA manner a pyramid of American workers including a riveter, mason, carpenters and manual laborers, standing on or below a scaffolding surrounding a rising building with steel structure. Below them all is a mother and child, and to one side is a classic porticoed building swathed in foliage. Again in the WPA mural manner, there is an instructive text below: "The First Requisite of a Good Citizen is that He Do His Humdrum Duties Well." Beck is known for painting "The Return of Timothy Pickering," a mural for the lobby painting of the US Post Office in Danvers, Massachusetts, as well as several for the 1939-1940 World's Fair in New York. (Dimensions include matte and frame.)


  • Condition
  • Dimensions

    H 40.5 in. x W 20.5 in. x D 1 in.

    H 102.87 cm x W 52.07 cm x D 2.54 cm

  • Seller location
    Philadelphia, PA
  • Reference number

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