We Assure Freedom to the Free

Three mural panels in the entrance foyer of the Auditorium display themes typical of government-sponsored art of the 1930s and 40s. We Assure Freedom to the Free (1944), the central figure of Abraham Lincoln in Proclamation of Emancipation (1943), and the words of Walt Whitman in The Modern Man I Sing (1944), emphasize the importance of freedom. Depictions of political and economic struggles are combined with symbols of technological advances ranging from pioneer days to those contemporary to the 1940s. Pollock’s representational style, clear compositional rhythms and flat, evenly illuminated figures were likely influenced by the Mexican Muralists and American Scene paintings popular at the time. Casein on canvas. Mural. [WPA Walking Tour; public art.msu.edu]


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