Photo: 18 November 2018
University of New Mexico Zimmerman Library
. One of
a series of four Three Peoples Murals
by Kenneth Adams in the main
hall ("Three Peoples" meaning Native, Anglo, and Hispanic). Contrary to
widespread belief, these were not funded by the New Deal even though that
was the original intention. Nevertheless, they are features of a
New Deal building and framed by New Deal woodwork and masonry that were
designed to accommodate them.
- Zimmerman Library
Artwork, University of New Mexico Library Celebrating Zimmerman@75
website, accessed 28 November 2018.
- Sisneros, Samuel,
Peoples" mural unchanged after decades of
Daily Lobo, 30 October 2017.
of New Mexico May Remove Murals that Ignore Indigenous POV", Color
Lines, 9 October 2018: "UNM artist-in-residence Kenneth Adams
developed the Three Peoples murals through the Public Works of Art
Project, a federal initiative of the New Deal that employed artists
nationwide in 1939." This is one of many erroneous articles where
the PWAP was credited for financing the work.
- Bellmore, Audra, and Sever Bordeianu (University of New Mexico),
"Youth, Science, and the Future: Three Sets of New Deal Era Murals at the
University of New Mexico," Art Documentation: Journal of the Art
Libraries Society of North America, V.32, No.1, Spring 2013,
In 1936, University of New Mexico's president James Zimmerman obtained PWA
funding for several new university buildings, including a new university
library ... Zimmerman hired John Gaw Meem to design the structure in his
characteristic Spanish pueblo style. From the outset, Meem's plans included
included four recessed bays in the library's great hall, where a large-scale
set of murals was to be installed. Construction ofthe Zimmerman Library
progressed from 1936—1938, and the four architectural bays meant to
showcase the series of murals were completed as part of the project ...
After the completion of the library structure in1938, there was no PWA money
left to furnish or decorate the building. In a letter from W. Carlos
Powell, the local acting director of the PWA, to UNM president James
Zimmerman, he stated: "I am advised by the Central Office that no further
amendatory applications, involving additions to the present allotment, may
be accepted or given consideration in any manner." With funding from the
PWA exhausted, the four bays above the reference desk waited unfinished for
a year, until Zimmerman obtained a grant from the Carnegie Foundation's
Artist-in-Residence Program. The Carnegie grant enabled Zimmerman to hire
Adams to work on the murals ... While ultimately funded by the Carnegie
Corporation, Adams's Zimmerman Library murals are related to other New
Deal-funded murals found across the country and the state. They echo the
democratic sentiment of the period, with their emphasis on working people
coming together for the greater social good.