"Lost Mural of Ellis Island" Coming to Macon, Georgia's Museum of Arts and Sciences
Exhibit Recreates the Building of America
MACON, Ga., Dec. 16, 2013 – A replica of a 1938 mural that once was installed in the Ellis Island immigrants’ dining hall is coming to Central Georgia and will be on display at the Museum of Arts and Sciences from January 10 through March 23, 2014. While the mural is on display, the Museum will host an official naturalization ceremony for immigrants in the area who have completed the requirements to become U.S. citizens. This momentous event – a significant occasion for the new American citizens – is part of the Museum’s strategic goal to serve a broader spectrum of residents in the region.
“Inspired by the Lost Mural of Ellis Island project, the Museum requested the opportunity to host a naturalization ceremony,” said Executive Director Susan Welsh. “We were thrilled to learn that the Museum was approved as a site with a tentative date in February of 2014. Our staff will work with the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services to host what could possibly be the first-ever large naturalization ceremony to be held in Macon. Approximately 100 new citizens will participate in the ceremony and many of them will have several family members in attendance. Organizing the ceremony while the mural is in the region will be very meaningful for all involved.”
The original Ellis Island mural, entitled “The Role of the Immigrant in the Industrial Development in America,” was commissioned by the New Deal Federal Art Project, part of Roosevelt’s Works Progress Administration (WPA). Painted by muralist Edward Laning from 1935 to 1938, the eight-panel mural – measuring 10 feet tall by 190 feet long – was displayed in the dining hall and chronicled the founding and building of America by pioneers from different countries.
In 2003, artist and muralist Andrew Sabori visited Ellis Island to learn more about his ancestry. During that trip, he discovered a small black and white photograph of the original mural. He was so inspired by the artwork – and discouraged that so few people had the opportunity to see it – that he decided to reproduce the mural in a reduced size. Sabori spent several months researching the history of the original mural and realized that recreating the mural would be a valuable educational experience for students in his community. Directing a group of high school and college art students, who assisted with the background painting, Sabori completed the replica mural in 2008. Sabori's version of the mural was created in 19 panels, and measures 5 feet tall by 90 feet long – about half the size of the original.
Complementing the Lost Mural of Ellis Island exhibition, the Museum of Arts and Sciences will offer educational programming to encourage students to utilize genealogy research resources at the Middle Georgia Regional Library and the National Archives at Atlanta in Morrow, Georgia.
About the Museum of Arts and Sciences:
“Discover The World—Explore The Universe” at the Museum of Arts and Sciences, a 501(c)(3) organization that is the largest multidisciplinary purpose museum in Georgia, only cultural institution in the state dedicated to both art and science, Macon’s oldest and only accredited museum, and a state leader in STE+aM programming. Founded in 1956 in the basement of the old Wesleyan Conservatory, the Museum’s current 55,000 square-foot facility, located on 14 acres on Forsyth Road, offers a wide variety of exhibitions, full-dome Planetarium, Mini-Zoo with over 70 live animals, interactive Discovery House, Nature Trails, 200+ seat Auditorium, Museum Store, and much more.
For more information on the exhibit, please contact Melanie Byas, Director of Marketing & Communications at the Museum of Arts and Sciences, 4182 Forsyth Road, Macon, GA 31210, at 478.477.3232 x317 or [email protected]