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Works In Progress

March 2023
1min read

A restorer was already busy trying to save the Ben Shahn mural in the Bronx Central Post Office in New York City when the article in which it was featured, Edward Laning’s “Memoirs of a WPA Painter,” appeared in our October, 1970, issue. According to the General Services Administration, the restoration was more complex than was anticipated because of the “strange reaction of the plaster on the tempera, aided by the accumulation of 30 years of dirt.” In addition, Karel Yasko, special assistant to the commissioner, Public Buildings Service, G.S.A. , had this welcome news to report :

Our next salvation is directed at the Edward Laning murals on Ellis Island. This is a direct result of your story. I had been informed previously that they had deteriorated beyond recall but when your photograph indicated that at least one was seemingly intact, we felt compelled to try to save it.…

Mr. Yasko also reports that an inventory has been started to locate all works of art that were commissioned by the federal government and are still in its possession, especially those done between 1933 and 1943. Perhaps a full-scale restoration policy will result.

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Stories published from "June 1971"

Authored by: John Fenton

The job ran in the family; both his uncle and grandfather were Secretaries of State. Home life in a parsonage taught him piety, and the law precision. The rigid views of a world divided between good and evil he worked out, apparently, himself. Private letters and new taped recollections help explain the shaping of the man who set our Cold War foreign policy

Authored by: Edward Laning

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Authored by: Gerald Carson

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Authored by: Bruce Catton

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Authored by: The Editors

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Authored by: E. M. Halliday

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Authored by: Richard M. Ketchum

A domino theory, distant wilderness warfare, the notion of “defensive enclaves,” hawks, doves, hired mercenaries, possible intervention by hostile powers, a Little trouble telling friendly natives from unfriendly—George III went through the whole routine

Authored by: Stephen W. Sears

Operation Market-Garden promised to lay an airborne red carpet to victory, but its final objective proved to be “a bridge to far.”

Authored by: David McCullough

The Big Ditch had so far been a colossal flop, and Teddy Roosevelt desperately needed an engineering genius who could take over the job and “make the dirt fly.” The answer was not the famous Goethals, but a man whom history has forgotten.

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