The History of Milwaukee and its Government, Photograph 4

During the Great Depression in the 1930s, the federal government commissioned the Works Progress Administration, or WPA, which provided jobs in a time of need. In Milwaukee, at least several hundred people were hired for projects related to arts, history, and civic pride. Part of that effort resulted in about 243 murals and other paintings, and six Italian Renaissance-inspired stained glass windows. Two of those stained glass windows represent city and state government, depicting respectively, the city seal and City Hall, and the Great Seal of the State of Wisconsin and State Capitol. Until they were restored and hung by Conrad Schmitt Studios in the 3rd floor Common Council Chamber in 1978, one window resided in the basement of Central Library, and the other in the basement of the Milwaukee Public Museum. The Arnold Gavin Stained Glass Shop provided the materials, and the windows are thought to be designed by Milwaukee artist Carl Reimann and completed under the supervision of WPA artist Adolf Karl.




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