Kingsbridge Heights Bronx - Photo #63 - DeWitt Clinton High School Murals

DeWitt Clinton High School at Mosholu Parkway and Paul Avenue in the Bronx, New York, March 2014. The school moved to this building from Manhattan in 1929[1], so the building itself is not a New Deal project.

Clinton has an illustrious history[1,8,9] but like all public schools in New York City, today it is under attack from politicians in State and Federal government, who (at best) want to turn all public schools into test prep academies and (at worst) totally privatize them, like our prisons. Clinton's principal, former NYC deputy schools chancellor Santiago Taveras (Santi), is fighting to turn it back into what it was before all the cutbacks and “reforms”[2].  Update 2016: Principal Taveras was demoted and removed from Clinton, in my opinion because he was trying to bring back the old-fashioned kind of public education that really worked; HERE is a pretty fair NY Times article about it[10].

Aside from its prominence in the history of public education, Clinton is also home to a gigantic New Deal mural — PARTIALLY PAINTED OVER IN NOVEMBER 2017The History of the World and (on the ceiling) Constellations by Alfred Floegel (1894-1976)[3], WPA Federal Art Project[6], 1934-40: Oil on canvas, 5 feet 4 inches high and 194 feet long[4]. Thanks to Principal Taveras for providing me access to photograph this momumental work. Click here to see it, and keep clicking to see all the views.

By the way, DeWitt Clinton is also known (among many other things, but apropos of the New Deal) for its literary magazine, Magpie[7], that famously dealt with Depression era themes, 1929-42.

New References:

  1. A historic decades-old mural was painted over at a New York high school during a repair project, CNN, June 18, 2018.
  2. New Deal Art Experts Say Painting Over Mural Was Vandalism, New York Times, June 16, 2018.
  3. EXCLUSIVE: Bronx school paints over famous New Deal-era mural, New York Daily News, June 10, 2018.


  1. DeWitt Clinton High School, Wikipedia.
  2. Harris, Elizabeth, After Closing Schools, a Principal Fights to Save a Bronx High School, NY Times, November 26, 2014.
  3. NYC Department of Education Public Art Collection: History of the World and Constellations.
  4. DeWitt Clinton H.S., Lehman College.
  5. Alfred Floegel, brief biography at Lehman College.
  6. Federal Art Project, Photographic Division collection ... 1935-1942, Archives of American Art at the Smithsonian Institution.
  7. The Magpie Sings the Great Depression: Selections from DeWitt Clinton High School's Literary Magazine, 1929-1942", New Deal Network,
  8. Allyn, Bobby, DeWitt Clinton's Remarkable Alumni, New York Times, July 21, 2009.
  9. Pelisson, Gerard J., and James A. Garvey, The Castle on the Parkway: The Story of New York City's Dewitt Clinton High School and its Extraordinary Influence on American Life, The Hutch Press (2012).
  10. Taylor, Kate, Pushing for Change, Bronx Principal Is Undone by Investigation, New York Times, 29 November 2016.