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"Archives Building", WPA.1935.40, circa 1935, Painting by Dorsey Doniphan

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Posted 5 years ago


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hellokitty6811's 'Dorsey Doniphan' Show and Tell. That Show and Tell can be found at:

This image and accompanying text comes to us from the great courtesy of the Registrar @ the Curator of the U.S. Treasury Dept., Washington, D.C. Where I have added text, I have placed it in brackets.

[Treasury text follows below. Full bibliographical citation of some sources that Treasury quotes is unavailable. The text comes courtesy of the Treasury Department. Current disposition of painting: The Treasury Department Collection.]

WPA.1935.40 “Archives Building”, 1935 circa, oil on canvas
Signed lower right “Dorsey Doniphan”
Frame: 30 ½ x 22 ¾ x ½”
Sight: 29 5/8 x 21 5/8”
Credit line: The Treasury Department Collection

Pencil inscription on reverse of canvas reads “2 north”. Pencil inscription on top stretcher identifies building and address.

Label text from 1993 in house exhibition: “American Life in an American Way: The Treasury Department Art Programs During the Depression”: "The first artwork to be completed in Washington, DC for the Public Works of Art Project (PWAP) was a large painting by Edwin Doniphan illustrating the construction of the National Archives Building. The location of this painting is not known, however, this smaller version also showing the construction of the National Archives Building survives in the Treasury Collection. This smaller painting is interesting because the artist painted a border that gives the viewer the impression of looking through a window from the opposite side of the street."

[Source: From M. Lavine, Registrar at the Curator's Office, U.S. Treasury Dept., Washington, D.C., Email of 6/1/2012 to miKKoChristmas11, Attachment: "Edwin Dorsey Doniphan Paintings in the Treasury Collection", May 2012.]


  1. miKKoChristmas11 miKKoChristmas11, 5 years ago
    Thank you, kindly, scandinavian_pieces and vetraio50!
  2. miKKoChristmas11 miKKoChristmas11, 5 years ago
    Thank you kindly, BELLIN68!
  3. mikielikesigns2 mikielikesigns2, 5 years ago
    luv the fact that he painted the building "under construction" instead of waiting until it was finished.
  4. miKKoChristmas11 miKKoChristmas11, 5 years ago
    Hi, mikielikesign2. Yes, Doniphan was known for painting scenes of 'Old Washington', cityscapes of parts of Washington that were slated for demolition in the ambitious building campaign then underway. This time he caught the construction of the National Archives building. Very interesting. Thanks much for your thoughtful comments! miKKo
  5. miKKoChristmas11 miKKoChristmas11, 5 years ago
    Thank you kindly, AmberRose!!! : )
  6. miKKoChristmas11 miKKoChristmas11, 5 years ago
    Thank you kindly, mustangtony!!! : )
  7. miKKoChristmas11 miKKoChristmas11, 5 years ago
    Thank you very much, Sizzler!!! : )

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