Rochester to unveil Depression-era work of art

After two years of restoration, a Depression-era mural will be re-unveiled to the public in Rochester on Jan 14.

Marvin Beerbohm’s Depression-era painting “Industrial Environment of Rochester High School,” with its typewriters, young men in porkpie hats and teachers in black robes, depicts an era of education very unfamiliar to our modern age.

The Rochester-Avon Historical Society, Rochester Historical Commission and the Rochester Community Schools will host the celebratory wine tasting and unveiling from 7-9 p.m. in the Harrison Room of the Administration Center at 501 W. University in Rochester.


Beerbohm, a Detroit artist, was commissioned by the Works Progress Administration to paint the mural in 1938. Originally installed above the main entrance to the former Rochester High School (now the Administration Center), the mural was covered over during renovations in 1961.

Thirty years later, a second round of renovations revealed the hidden painting, damaged and in pieces.

With financial and in-kind support from the historical commission and the school district, the Rochester-Avon historical society took on the lengthy task of restoring Beerbohm’s mural.

Check out photos of the newly restored mural here.