The Frances Lehman Loeb Art Center is open to the public on weekends only as of August 8. Read more details about visiting. Please visit VassarTogether for the College’s Fall 2020 plans and policies.

Past Exhibition

For the People

When: July 12 - March 11, 2007

About the Show
Drawn primarily from the permanent collection of the Frances Lehman Loeb Art Center, this exhibition presents approximately thirty preliminary drawings for murals from the 1930s and 1940s. A turbulent period in America's history, this era saw record numbers of workers unemployed along with intense interest in national and regional identities and international politics. Though quite often overlooked today, American mural paintings of these years infused everyday life with a communal vitality, covering walls with oils or frescoes that revealed artists' heightened interests in historic or contemporary issues. James Daugherty, for instance, is represented by an energetic, modernist watercolor on the theme of New England's Puritan and abolitionist past, made for one of his murals at Stamford High School in Connecticut, sponsored by the federal Public Works of Art Project. Studies for murals for post offices in Delhi, Poughkeepsie, and Rhinebeck, New York, by Andrée Ruellan, Judson Smith, and Olin Dows are also included, as are drawings for the Rincon Annex of the San Francisco Post Office by Anton Refregier.

The mural movement in Mexico, which had emerged in the twenties, spurred numerous American artists to travel there to paint frescoes. Featured in the exhibition are several drawings from the early 1930s by Woodstock artist Marion Greenwood, prepared for murals for the Universidad San Nicolás Hidalgo in Morelia and the Mercado Abelardo L. Rodríguez in Mexico City. Alongside these large-scale works that extol Mexican workers and farmers are documentary photographs of the murals and their settings, by Mexican photographer Manuel Alvarez Bravo. These and other rarely exhibited mural studies by Ben Shahn, Arshile Gorky, and other American artists are presented here, executed in a range of mediums, including transparent watercolor, gouache, charcoal, graphite, and oil. The exhibition is organized by the Lehman Loeb Art Center and is accompanied by a checklist with essay by Patricia Phagan, curator of prints and drawings. It is generously supported by the Smart Family Foundation, Inc.

Public Hours

Sat 10am–5pm
Sun 1pm–5pm


Wed 10am–5pm
Thu 10am–8pm
Fri 10am–5pm


Please note that due to Covid-19 restrictions, we cannot accommodate group tours at this time, and capacity in the galleries is limited. All visitors are required to wear masks.


Admission is free and open to all. All galleries are wheelchair accessible.


Parking is on Raymond Avenue only. Entrance to the galleries is via the Raymond Ave. gate through the sculpture garden.

Students & Faculty

Consult the Teaching & Learning section of the VassarTogether page for information about visiting the Loeb during the week.

Please note that weekend hours are restricted to the general public only.


The Frances Lehman Loeb Art Center

124 Raymond Ave
Poughkeepsie, NY 12604

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(845) 437-5237
(845) 437-5955 (Fax)

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(845) 437-5632