A blog about architectural tiles, terra cotta and other ceramic surfaces, architectural glass and ornamentation in and around New York.

Saturday, October 1, 2016




At the first (testimony) hearing in July, "Prominent land use attorney Valerie Campbell, speaking for developer LSC, expressed its opposition to [...landmark designation]. She noted [there had been] alterations over the years and [toxic] contamination, and asked for more time to present the case against designation.

"That brings us to Tuesday’s somewhat unusual continuance of the proceedings. In recent years, the process for designation usually goes as follows. The commission votes to calendar the property on one day, and hears testimony on another. Then, at a subsequent session, the commissioners discuss the property and vote on the designation.

"At any rate, Campbell returned on Tuesday, accompanied by engineers and an environmental attorney. They said the complex’s building five is structurally compromised, and that work to correct that and execute environmental remediation would be unfeasible if designation occurs, certainly if designation includes that building. They estimated the cost of dealing with the situation at building five would be $4 million.

While the LPC works with owners of designated properties to find sources of income to help finance necessary maintenance, it isn’t technically the commission’s problem if designation is expensive for said owner. It’s also worth noting that environmental remediation would be necessary for redevelopment, regardless of landmark designation.

"[Noted] Columbia University architecture professor Andrew Dolkart took advantage of the second round of public testimony to express how 'enthusiastic' he is about the prospect of the complex’s designation.

"P[reserve] E[ast] N[ew] Y[ork]’s Miriam Robinson said it is one of the few sites left that represents East New York’s past, and that the neighborhood’s families need an anchor.

"'[The] HDC [Historic Districts Council] wishes to reiterate its support for the designation of the Empire State Dairy, and to thank the LPC for moving forward to consider this landmark-worthy complex. The buildings are threatened by the city’s rezoning plans, especially due to their presence on Atlantic Avenue, where increased bulk is being encouraged,' testified HDC’s Barbara Zay.

 “'The complex is listed in the Environmental Impact Statement as a projected development site, which makes this designation all the more imperative and symbolic. The agency is pursuing designation in part because the buildings have become endangered, and we applaud this effort. In a neighborhood that has only three designated landmarks, this designation would send a strong message to residents about the importance of their neighborhood anchors. An even stronger message would be to take further actions to designate more of East New York’s significant structures so that the city celebrates this vibrant community’s past while also planning for its future.'

"The commissioners did not comment on the merits of the site, but LPC Chair Meenakshi Srinivasan said a vote will take place on October 25." (Evan Bindelglass, "Public Hearing Continues For Designation Of Empire State Dairy Complex In East New York", New York YIMBY, September 15, 2016;


As I walked along Ninth Avenue near Roosevelt Hospital in Manhattan, just south of Lincoln Center, I looked up at St. Paul the Apostle Catholic Church and admired the mural above the front doors. I later discovered that this was the work of American artist Lumen Martin Winter (1908-1982).

(Color photos courtesy of Michael Padwee unless otherwise noted)

The mural, “The Triumph of Christ”, was an “18-foot by 60-foot bas-relief [that filled] the horizontal recess between the towers, directly above the center portal’s pointed arch.” (“CHURCH OF ST. PAUL THE APOSTLE, 8 Columbus Avenue (aka 8-10 Columbus Avenue, 120 West 60th Street), Manhattan. Built 1875-85; initial design attributed to Jeremiah O’Rourke; upper walls of towers, c. 1900; “Conversion of Paul” bas-relief by Lumen Martin Winter, 1958”, Landmarks Preservation Commission, June 25, 2013, Designation List 465, LP-2260, p. 7)   The mural “consists of fifty tons of Roman travertine stone fixed against a mosaic background of Venetian glass tesserae. ...Lumen Martin Winter...directed the sculpturing in the Pierotti Studios in Pietrasanta, Italy. The relief depicts a four-wheeled chariot drawn by an ox, a lion, an eagle and an angel. They are the traditional symbols of the four Evangelists--Matthew, Mark, Luke and John. Gripping a spoke at each of the wheels to help the chariot forward, are four great Doctors of the Church: Jerome, Ambrose, Augustine and Gregory. Seated as the driver in the chariot is Christ, who with one hand holds the world and with His other hand blesses it. Before him kneels the Blessed Mother Mary... . Dominant figures of God the Father and St. Paul are...above [and to the right of] the chariot. The mosaic background of Venetian glass tesserae was chosen in fifteen shades of blue and green to symbolize the Mediterranean Sea, which St. Paul sailed as a missionary... .” (“Paulists Bless Vast Sculpture”, The New York Times, December 8, 1958)

Design and sketches for the St. Paul’s mosaic. (Archival photo found in Lumen Winter’s workshop after his death. Courtesy of K. Nowak and Michael Padwee)

In addition to this mural on the church exterior, Lumen Winter also sculpted a statue titled “The Angel of the Resurrection.” The statue was carved “out of botticino marble in Pietrasanta, Italy. Below [it] is the sarcophagus...of Father Isaac Hecker (1819-1888), founder of the Missionary Society of Saint Paul the Apostle (The Paulist Fathers), and first pastor of Saint Paul the Apostle. The statue shows the Angel of Resurrection enfolding Father Hecker and Saint Paul and standing vigil over the remains, which were transferred there in 1959.” (, p.2)

”The Angel of the Resurrection”

Lumen Winter was born in Ellery, Illinois in 1908. His family "moved near Larned in western Kansas, when he was three. The family ranch was located along the Santa Fe Trail and the young Winter could gaze out and see the ruts made from years of passage on the trail. These Kansas landscapes and the history of the trail would later play an important role in his artwork. Winter became a sculptor, painter, and mosaic artist, but he was most well known for his murals. (  “His rare genius is demonstrated in the murals at the U.S. Air Force Academy [Catholic] Chapel[...] in Colorado Springs, at the National Wildlife Federation in Washington, D.C., at the AFL-CIO Headquarters in the Capitol, at the Church of St. Paul the Apostle, Lincoln Center in New York City, at the Sheraton Hotel Lobby and the National Bank in Washington, D.C. among others.” (

During the Depression, from 1929 through 1936, (The Speculative Fiction Database; Lumen Winter, “who could draw human figures very well,” drew interior illustrations for Hugo Gernsback’s Wonder Stories science fiction and fantasy magazines. (Mike Ashley, Michael Ashley, Robert A. W. Lowndes, The Gernsback Days: A Study of the Evolution of Modern Science Fiction from 1911 to 1936, Wildside Press, Holicong, PA, 2004, pp. 247, 360, 455) Winter also illustrated magazine covers:

He attended the Cleveland School of Art and the National Academy of Design in New York City. Winter moved to Santa Fe in 1939 and worked as a cartoonist and designer. (

Archival photo of Lumen Winter making a sample sketch for “The Last Supper” mural, which is now at Notre Dame University. In 1951 Winter was commissioned to paint a full-size reproduction of Leonardo Da Vinci's "The Last Supper" by Alfred E. Holton of Miami, Florida. The mural was donated to Notre Dame University in 1957 and was mounted in the west dining hall. ("DA VINCI COPY IS GIFT", The New York Times, September 27, 1957; Photo courtesy of K. Nowack.)

WPA Projects

Lumen Winter was commissioned to paint three, oil on canvas, U.S. Post Office murals for the Works Progress Administration (WPA) during the Depression. The artwork for post offices was required to be of a certain type by the Treasury Department, which administered post offices at that time. "[...Artwork] for post offices was represent a theme of local history, industry, commerce, agriculture, recreation or landscape. There were great diversities of style, but the post office art had to be realistic (representational and precise rather than overly abstract) and it absolutely had to depict its region. ...The artists recognized that public art needed to be more positive than other, more personal forms of art, at least if their work was to be funded, so post office art of the period does not represent details that are truly sordid or depressing. The Section officials ‘encouraged a positive view of society and a faith in the importance of peaceful social change, expressed in such themes as the dignity of work, the pleasure of leisure, the bounty of rural life, the importance of family cohesiveness, the value of community, and the diversity and drama of urban life. What they accepted was a wide range of artistic abilities and divergent political views on the part of the artists.’” (National Register of Historic Places Registration Form, Fredericktown United States Post Office, 155 South Main Street, Fredericktown, MO, August 19, 2009, Section 8, Page 16;

The Gwen B. Giles Station Post Office, St. Louis, Missouri (1939)

“Old Levee and Market at St. Louis” (Photo by Charles Swaney)

“The historic Gwen B. Giles Station post office—also known as Wellston Station (prior to a Congressional renaming)—in St. Louis, Missouri contains a 1939 Section of Fine Arts mural by Lumen Winter entitled “Old Levee and Market at St. Louis.” The mural depicts a view of the St. Louis levee to the right with a steamboat and the market to the left in the background. There are contrasting groupings in the foreground with a family hurrying to get out of the way of the stagecoach which the driver is attempting to slow despite the wildness of the black horse. By contrast, the two gentlemen to the right are rather nonchalant, standing beneath a tree with a sign showing that they are on the Boone’s Lick Trail and 16 miles to St. Charles. The trail continued into the western part of mid-Missouri across the river from the historic town of Arrow Rock.” (

Post Office, Fremont, Michigan (1938)

The historic post office in Fremont, Michigan houses an example of New Deal artwork: “Pony Express” by Lumen Martin Winter. The work was commissioned by the U.S. Treasury Department Section of Fine Arts. (; The Treasury Section of Painting and Sculpture (later known as the Section of Fine Arts), commonly known as the Section, was established in 1934 and administered by the Procurement Division of the United States Department of the Treasury. It continued until 1943,

“Pony Express” mural.  (Photo by Jimmy Emerson DVM)

“When Lumen Martin Winter visited Fremont to research a[n] historical subject but found nothing that he thought was appropriate, he decided that the United State[s] mail service would be his best choice for the Fremont post office artwork. He nonetheless placed the mail theme in a[n] historical context and included figures of Michigan lumbermen, Indians, and a pioneer family. The Pony Express is also represented; even though the service never operated in Michigan. In addition to the Pony Express, the mural touches on several of the [Treasury] Section[ of Fine Arts’] favored subjects. The pioneer family stressed not only pioneer spirit but also traditional social cohesion. The lumbermen and their labor relates the past to the present. Although not as frequently, Native Americans are represented in several of the Section’s murals. The mural is executed in the Regionalist manner and depicts a composite-like idealistic theme with a heightened color scheme.” (Chidester, Cheryl Ann, "The Documentation and Preservation of Art-in-Architecture of Michigan: The Section of Fine Arts Projects" (2007), p. 144. Master's Theses and Doctoral Dissertations. Paper 172;

Post Office, Hutchinson, Kansas (1942)

"Threshing in Kansas", oil on canvas. (Photo by Jordan McAlister)

In addition to these three Post Office commissions, Winter entered a mural design, which was not chosen, in a competition for the Jackson, Mississippi post office in 1935.

Lumen Winter’s entry in the mural competition for the Jackson, Mississippi Post Office, 1935. (Patricia Galloway, editor, The Hernando de Soto Expedition History, Historiography, and “Discovery” in the Southeast, University of Nebraska Press, Lincoln and London, 1997 p. 423. (National Archives and Records Administration, I2I-MS-JACK-2B))

According to the St. Louis Mercantile Library, there were other WPA commissions that were not in a post office that Winter completed. “There are still a number of F[ederal] A[rt] P[roject] works visible in Missouri[...such as] the ‘Old Levee and Market at St. Louis’[, a 1939 oil on canvas,] by Lumen Martin Winter at the Wellston Public School [ St. Louis.]”* (; *A mural with this same name was installed in the Gwen G. Giles/Wellston Branch Post Office in St. Louis in 1939--see above--the mural for the Wellston School was probably either a different mural or an error in reporting by the St. Louis Mercantile Library.) 

The “Wellston School District ceased to exist at the end of the 2009-2010 school year. Because Wellston schools had lost state accreditation in 2003 and were struggling with infrastructure problems, the state board of education made the decision to merge Wellston schools with nearby Normandy School District... .” ( It is not known what happened to the Winter mural in that school, or if it was ever even there.

The Friars’ Club murals

Part of the Friars’ Club mural in Cincinnati. (Photo found in Lumen Winter’s studio after his death. Photo courtesy of K. Nowak) The floor tile patterns are Native American motifs, which were removed.

After he left Santa Fe, Winter moved to Cincinnati. “In 1941, [Winter...] lived at the Friars’ Club [in Cincinnati and began to...] work on a set of murals that depicted industry, music, religion and literature in the residents’ lounge. For four years, Winter worked on the murals, although his work was interrupted for 18 months while he was enlisted as a chief artist illustrator for the Signal Corps [] the Air Force. The murals were dedicated on November 12, 1944.” (“Friars Club”, Abandoned: The Story of a Forgotten America;

The abandoned and deteriorating Friars’ Club. (2013 photo taken by, and courtesy of Sherman Cahal)

“On June 30, 2006, the Friars Club relocated from [their] 60,000-square-foot structure to 2316 Harrywood Court, citing a lack of space and high maintenance costs, which ran upwards of $200,000 a year. ...Demolition began on May 1, 2010 on the 80-year-old former Friars Club location at Ohio Avenue and McMillian Street in Clifton Heights. A gated apartment community for University of Cincinnati college students replaced the imposing brick castle-like building... .” (“Friars Club”, Abandoned: The Story of a Forgotten America

The Labor Murals for the AFL-CIO Headquarters

My second contact with Lumen Winter was the Christmas that I received a lithograph of one of his mosaic murals as a present.

A 1955 lithograph of the “Labor is Life” mural, printed by The Donald Art Company, Inc. I was informed that a number of lithographs were discovered in Winter’s studio after he died, and these are now coming onto the market. (Author’s collection)
When the AFL-CIO merged in the 1950s the new organization built a national headquarters at 815 16th Street, NW, next door to St. John’s Episcopal Church (“The Church of the Presidents”). George Meany, the head of the AFL-CIO, negotiated with the Church, which owned the property, for the land. 

The AFL-CIO building. “In the lobby of AFL-CIO headquarters in Washington DC, two 15-by-71 foot mosaics of marble, glass and gold pay tribute to America's working families. Both murals were designed by Kansas-born Lumen Martin Winter and executed by skilled union craftsmen under his direction. ‘Labor is Life -- Carlyle,’ in the south lobby, was unveiled in 1956, with the north lobby's artwork, ‘Labor Omnia Vincit -- Virgil,’ completed in 1973. The focal point images of families in the murals reflect post-war era gender ideals, with men in the public world of work and technological progress and women mainly in the private realm of family.” (

The church, for its part, obtained the land owned by the union on Avenue H opposite Lafayette Park and the White House for its administration building.   (Discussion with Hayden G. Bryan, the Executive Director for Operations at St. John’s, July 2015)

Lumen Winter was commissioned to create a mural depicting work and working people in the United States for the union’s new headquarters. Winter designed the 15' x 71' “Labor is Life” mural for the building’s ground floor lobby (now a meeting room). The mosaic was composed of glass, marble and gold pieces and was fabricated by the Ravenna Mosaic Company* of St. Louis, Missouri.

Lumen Winter’s “Labor is Life” mural (2015 photo).

The central section of this mural--the monumental working man, woman and child--was the design model for the 1956 Labor Day commemorative postage stamp.

The quote on the stamp is the title of the mural. The quote was given to us by Thomas Carlyle, a Scottish essayist, philosopher, teacher and historian who lived during the Victorian era and was influential to the Arts and Crafts movement. “Quoting Carlyle: ‘Labour is Life: from the inmost heart of the Worker rises his god-given Force, the sacred celestial Life-essence breathed into him by Almighty God; from his inmost heart awakens him to all nobleness; to all knowledge, 'self-knowledge' and much else, so soon as Work fitly begins.’”  (Michael Fullam, It's not about me blog, September 1, 2014;

Four detailed views of the "Labor is Life" mural.

*[The Ravenna Mosaic Company was founded in c.1923 as a joint endeavor between the St. Louis art glass studio owned by Emil Frei and the German art glass firm, Puhl-Wagner. Paul Heuduck (1882-1972) of Puhl-Wagner, emigrated to the United States in 1923 with his family, and he and his son, Arno (1917-1989), were the main mosaicists over the years. “Under the direction of Gerdt Wagner, Ravenna maintained offices in both New York and St. Louis during its early years. Many of Ravenna's important early commissions were executed in New York, including murals at Rockefeller Center, St. Batholomew's Episcopal Church and Temple Emanu-El. Frei amicably broke with Ravenna in late 1929 or early 1930. In 1935, Arno, who had studied art at Washington University, joined the company. Paul took full control of Ravenna when, in 1939, Gerdt Wagner abandoned the company to return to Germany, where he became a high-ranking Nazi propagandist.

Part of the full-size cartoon painted by Lumen Winter on a roll of paper. The cartoon was used by the Ravenna Mosaic Company to fabricate the mural. (Photo found in Lumen Winter’s workshop after his death and is printed courtesy of K. Nowak)

Winter (left) working with the cartoon at the Ravenna Mosaic Company. (Archival photo found in Lumen Winter’s workshop after his death. Courtesy of K. Nowak)

“...The 1950s and 1960s represented a period of prosperity for Ravenna, during which time they received a number of notable commissions, including murals for the exteriors of UCLA's music (1954) and physics (1962) buildings, Lumen Winter's "Labor" mural at the AFL-CIO Headquarters in Washington, D.C., and numerous commissions in the National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception. This period saw renewed and intensive work in the St. Louis Cathedral. Ravenna executed eight major commissions throughout the cathedral with artist Hildreth Meiere between 1955 and 1961.

Working on the central section of the “Labor is Life” mural at the Ravenna Company. (Photo found in Lumen Winter’s studio after his death. Photo courtesy of K. Nowak)

“...In 1972, Paul Heuduck died at the age of 90. He spent his last years working in the studio with his son... . ...In 1974, Arno entered semi-retirement and moved the studio to a farm in Fredericktown, MO, where Ravenna would complete its final commissions. ...Arno died of cancer in November 1988, bringing a long and prolific career to an end.” (]

The 1972/73 “Labor Omnia Vincit” mural. (Photo taken in 2015)

Winter was again commissioned by the AFL-CIO to design a second mosaic mural for the lobby of the addition to the AFL-CIO building in 1972/73. This was a 17’ x 51’ marble, glass and gold mosaic mural which was fabricated by Costante Crovatto*, artist-owner of Venetian Mosaic Art in the Bronx, New York, with the assistance of Italian mosaicist Giovanni Travisanutto, a recent graduate of the Scuola Mosaicisti del Friuli in Spilimbergo, Italy. Travisanutto traveled to New York to work in the Crovatto mosaic studio in 1971.  (

Three detailed views of the “Labor Omnia Vincit” mural.

*[Costante Crovatto was born in 1926 in Travesio, Italy. His father emigrated to America the following year, and Costante remained living in Italy with his mother and brother. Crovatto attended the mosaic school in Spilimbergo, Italy, and after the war, in 1947, he emigrated to the United States. When Crovatto arrived, there were not many job opportunities in the mosaic or the terrazzo industries in Washington, DC, so he moved to New York City and joined the Mosaic and Terrazzo Workers Association. For several years thereafter he worked in the terrazzo industry. Crovatto became a free agent in order to work as a mosaic artist, and he worked with architects who received commissions from all over America. Crovatto, together with two other mosaic artists, Americo Bertoli and Carlo Ret, formed the Venetian Mosaic Art Company in New York City, which lasted about 25 years, and they fabricated works from coast to coast. Later the company became the Crovatto Mosaics Company.  (A liberal translation from the Italian; and] 

Winter’s murals and sculptures in New York public schools

There are over 1500 works of art spread throughout the New York City public school system. “From early 20th century stained glass windows by Tiffany Studios to the vast mural cycles of the New Deal, through the diverse and engaging installations commissioned through the Percent for Art Program, our schools house an incredible array of artwork that reflects our rich social and political history.” (

From 1958 through about 1975 Lumen Winter was commissioned by the New York Board of Education to create murals and sculptures for about a dozen public school properties. In the intervening half century school names have changed, but the Department of Education (DOE) has tried to keep an accurate track of works of art in the school system. The “Public Arts for Public Schools” website only lists one ceramic tile mural created by Lumen Winter, however, Marina Nebro, a college intern for the program, kindly sent a list of eleven works by Lumen Winter in the public schools. (I amended the original article because I received this list after publication.) I know of one other mural from a list found in Winter's studio after his death.

Even if you know where an art work is in the system, visitors need to obtain local permission to wander around and take photos in the schools. This is not always easy to do.  (All art works listed are from the collection of the NYC Department of Education, Public Art for Public Schools): 

Public School 53, 330 Durant Avenue, Richmond (Staten Island)--A monumental, historical mural in marble and stone mosaics (1966). The marble blocks (clockwise from UL) depict symbols for music, arts and science, a radiating sun, the original settlers, Verrazano’s ship, and the original Native American inhabitants of Staten Island. The stone mosaic sections depict the radiating rays of the sun and the Verrazano-Narrows Bridge, which, since the early 1960s connected Staten Island and Brooklyn. (This was not on the PAPS list.)

PS 53 mural. Low relief marble blocks and stone mosaics. (Courtesy of Michael Padwee)

PS 16R, 80 Monroe Avenue, Staten Island--a ceramic mural, 11'7" x 27'3 1/2", on the wall of the third floor auditorium lobby.

PS 16 mural on Staten Island. (Archival Board of Education photo from 1966 found in Lumen Winter’s workshop after his death. Courtesy of K. Nowak)

PS 60, 55 Merrill Avenue, Staten Island--a stone and glass mosaic mural on the wall of the auditorium lobby, titled "Science, Music, Art, and Literature".

PS 130, 200-01 42nd Avenue, Queens--two acrylic on canvas murals, "Life is a Labor" (1972) and "Ode to Audubon" (1975) on the second floor stairwell wall.

South Shore High School, 6565 Flatlands Avenue, Kings County (Brooklyn)--”The Rock” mounted on a white marble slab (1970). This high school no longer exists with this name. There are at least five schools sharing the old South Shore HS campus at 6565 Flatlands Avenue, Brooklyn at this time.

South Shore High School, Kings County--”Protection”, a 10’ high, marble sculpture. 

”Protection” (Archival Board of Education photo from 1970 found in Lumen Winter’s workshop after his death. Courtesy of Michael Padwee and K. Nowack)

South Shore High School, Brooklyn--"Ascent" (1969), an 18' x 3'6" (app.) sculpture by the exterior, rear entrance to the school.

PS 84, Jose De Diego School, 250 Berry Street, Brooklyn--mosaic? mural (1962). A message was left with the main office, and I was told someone would call me back. Other calls went unanswered. This is one of the schools that is not on the PSPA list.

PS 20, Manhattan--"Immigration", a 7' 1/4" x 26' Venetian glass mosaic mural about life on the Lower East Side in the Anna Silver School, 166 Essex Street.

PS 20 mural (1962), signed at lower right. The Williamsburg Bridge is in the background, and the Rivington Street “El” station is in the center. The phrase on the top of the mural reads “BEHOLD, HOW GOOD AND HOW PLEASANT IT IS FOR BRETHREN TO DWELL TOGETHER IN UNITY.” The phrase at the bottom reads, “GIVE ME YOUR TIRED, YOUR POOR, YOUR HUDDLED MASSES YEARNING TO BREATHE FREE.”

Mural detail. The Forward was the main Yiddish Socialist newspaper on the Lower East Side of Manhatten and in the United States in the early 20th century.

PS 20, 166 Essex Street, Manhattan--"The Original Mural Story", an 8.5" x 24" gouache painting.

PS 41, Manhattan, West 12th Street--”GREENWICH VILLAGE AND ITS CULTURAL ACTIVITIES” (1958), 11' 2" high X 17' 8" long tile mural. I was told by the school office that there were no tile murals in the school, but, whoever told me that could have been mistaken as the DOE pictures this mural on its PSPA website.

PS 41 mural. (Archival Board of Education photo c. 1958 found in Lumen Winter’s workshop after his death. Courtesy of K. Nowack)

PS 96, 216 East 120th Street, Manhattan--"Light and Color Spectrum", an 8'2" x 24'6" marble and glass mosaic on the wall of the auditorium lobby.

PS 154, Jonathan D. Hyatt School, 333 E. 135th Street, Bronx--Lumen Martin Winter and Jonathan P. Hyatt, “Educator”, ca. 1962, an aluminum, marble and glass mosaic panel, 8'x 22', about Jonathan D. Hyatt. The mural is on a wall of the auditorium lobby. 

J.H.S. 141, The Riverdale School, 660 West 237th Street, Bronx--”Arts and Sciences” (1958), oil on Belgian linen, 2 panels: 108" x 144" each. I sent an email to the school on May 3, 2016, but it was not answered. A call to the school elicited a negative response when asked if the two panel mural was still installed in the school, but the PAPS database sent to me lists this as "on display".

A Connection: The Apollo 13 Crew Patch and the St. Regis Hotel

Perhaps one of the best known Lumen Winter creations was the logo patch of the Apollo XIII mission to the moon in April 1970. The space crew consisted of James A. Lovell, Jr., mission commander, John L. Swigert, Jr., command module pilot, and Fred W. Haise, Jr., lunar module pilot. This mission was to be a moon landing, but an oxygen tank exploded damaging the capsule while in flight. The crew almost died on the return flight to Earth. 

Photo: [ap13-aw1], NASA photo ID: S69-60662, Taken: 1 Dec 1969)
“The Apollo 13 crew patch featured three flying horses as Apollo’s ‘chariot’ [...crossing] space. [...The] logo also included the mottoes ‘Ex Luna, scientia’ (‘From the Moon, knowledge’), borrowed from the U. S. Naval Academy’s motto, ‘Ex scientia tridens’ (‘From knowledge, sea power’). The mission number appeared in Roman numerals as Apollo XIII. It is one of two Apollo insignia—the other being Apollo 11—not to include the names of the crew. (This was fortunate, considering that original crew member Ken Mattingly was replaced two days before the mission began.)” (, pp. 26-27)

The story of the crew patch and the mural from which it was derived follows: “It was designed by artist Lumen Winter, who based it on a mural he had done for the St. Regis Hotel in New York. The mural was later purchased by actor Tom Hanks, who portrayed [Commander Jim] Lovell in the movie Apollo 13, and now is on the wall of a restaurant (Lovell’s of Lake Forest, a restaurant started by Gemini and Apollo astronaut Jim Lovell and now owned and run by his son, Jaynear Chicago owned by Lovell’s son.” (, pp. 26-27) 

“This magnificent mural portrayed behind the main bar is titled Steeds of Apollo and depicts the myth of) Apollo and his task to pull the sun across the sky. The artist, Luman Winter was commissioned in 1969 by the St. Regis Hotel in New York to paint the mural. For many years it graced the main lounge of the hotel. When the St. Regis Hotel was refurbished, the mural was removed and for many years its whereabouts was unknown. Finally, it surfaced at an auction of space artifacts in Los Angeles. Through the generosity of a great enthusiast of our space program, [Tom Hanks,] the mural is now the centerpiece of Lovells of Lake Forest[, which opened in 1999].” ( The restaurant has since closed, and “[Jay] Lovell has donated the mural to the Capt. James A. Lovell Federal Health Center in North Chicago.” (

In a 1995 interview Jim Lovell further clarified how the patch design came about: “The idea of that patch was essentially mine. I didn't draw it; I drew the other three patches (Gemini 7, Gemini 12 and Apollo 8). I said we wanted to do something with Apollo. I started out the design of this patch with the idea of the mythical god, Apollo, driving his chariot across the sky and dragging the sun with it. We eventually gave this idea to an artist in New York City named Lumen Winter, and he eventually came up with the three horse design which symbolized the Apollo but also included the Earth and the Moon. The funny thing is that Winter, prior to making the patch for us, made a large wall mural of horses crossing the sky with the Earth below which [was] prominently displayed at the St. Regis Hotel in New York City. The horses are very similar to the ones on our patch, except that it had a fourth horse falling back and that, ironically, could have been Ken Mattingly who was replaced before our flight.” (From an interview with Glen Swanson published in the Spring 1995 issue of Quest, The History of Spaceflight Magazine;

Some Commercial Commissions

Besides the “Steeds of Apollo” mural (1969) for the St. Regis Hotel in New York, Lumen Winter had many notable commercial commissions, some of which are illustrated below.

The Sheraton-Park Hotel

An undated newspaper article, possibly from the 1950s. (Photo found in the artist’s studio after his death and used courtesy of K. Nowack)

In 1954-1955 Lumen Winter painted a mural in Sheraton Hall, the ballroom of the Sheraton-Park Hotel in Washington, D.C. The mural consisted of a monumental, spread-winged eagle in a center section, and a panel on each side of the eagle depicting the history of the United States from the Revolutionary War to the Atomic Age.

(Picture post card on the left courtesy of; photo on the right from the website of the Washington Marriott Wardman Park Hotel)

The new owners of the Sheraton Park Hotel renovated the ballroom. Although the balconies and stage still exist, the mural is gone.

The Sheraton Southland Hotel

Preliminary sketch for the Sheraton Southland Hotel’s “Stampede” fresco. (Photo found in the artist’s studio after his death and used courtesy of K. Nowack)

Winter also created two murals for another Sheraton hotel--the Sheraton Southland Hotel in Dallas--in 1958/59. One mural was a fresco, “Stampede,” in the hotel’s “Town Room”, and the second was an abstract Venetian-glass and marble mosaic mural in the second floor lobby. When the hotel opened in 1959, it partnered with the Dallas Museum of Art for the museum’s “Made in Texas by Texans” exhibition (April 23-June 22, 1959). Lumen Winter’s two murals as well as two carved wooden bas reliefs he made for the hotel’s Alamo Room were included in the exhibition.
(Dowell, Violet Hayden. Made in Texas by Texans, Pamphlet, [1959]; ( accessed June 05, 2016), University of North Texas Libraries, The Portal to Texas History,; crediting Dallas Museum of Art, Dallas , Texas. (According to the Alchetron website,, Winter carved a total of six wood sculptures for the Alamo and Vaqueros Rooms.)

The “Stampede” mural in the “Town Room”. (Photo found in the artist’s studio after his death and used courtesy of K. Nowack)

The Penn-Sheraton Hotel

Lumen Winter and Rene Shapshak installing their “Golden Triangle” mural in the Pittsburgh Room at the Penn-Sheraton Hotel.

In 1957 Lumen Winter and sculptor Rene Shapshak completed a cityscape mural entirely in metal for the Penn-Sheraton Hotel in Pittsburgh (now the Omni William Penn Hotel). “The ten by 25-foot mural for the hotel’s Pittsburgh Room is believed to be the first in the world to utilize materials of the shop for contemporary art. [...Winter and Shapshak] used metal[--stainless steel from the United States Steel Corporation and aluminum from Alcoa--]and glass[--supplied by Pittsburgh Plate Glass--]to fashion the mural. A five plane profile of the Golden Triangle constitutes the main portion. Glass panels at either side are marked with figures symbolizing art, music, science and industry.

“The artists used municipal plans for their projection of Pittsburgh as it will be... . ...Steel, glass and aluminum were the artists’ only materials. They used neither brush nor oils. Rivers were formed by stainless steel sheets, shadows by wire brush and bridges by steel wire and bar. ...The materials were selected...because they are most representative of the industrial fame of the city." (“Artists Use Shop Tools for Mural”, Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, October 10, 1957, Section 2, p. 1;

A partial photo of the “Golden Triangle” mural taken in 1958.

I have not seen a full photo of this mural. The only photo found was the partial photo above taken at the Delta Tau Delta Centennial in 1958. The Penn-Sheraton building still exists as the Omni William Penn Hotel, but there is no mention of the mural on the hotel’s website, nor in the 700+ photos on the website.

The Union Central Life Insurance Company
The home office of the Union Central Life Insurance Company, c. 1964. (The Cover of a 1964 Union Central Life Insurance Company booklet describing the "New Home Office")

Winter completed another large commercial commission in 1964 when the Union Central Life Insurance Company in Cincinnati moved its home office to a new campus and building a few miles north from Cincinnati to Forest Park, Ohio. For many years Winter designed the front covers for Union Central's in-house magazine, The Agency Bulletin. Winter was commissioned to design a number of murals for the new home office building at 1876 Waycross Road. The lobby had two bronze works of art, a 28’ bronze mural titled “Seven Vital Reasons Why People Buy Life Insurance”--the seven reasons depicted by allegorical figures, and an 18’ long abstract bronze screen.

A 28’ long bronze mural, “Seven Vital Reasons Why People Buy Life Insurance” and two views of details.

An 18’ long bronze screen of abstract design (1964). (The photos of the Union Central Life Insurance Company building and the Lumen Winter murals were taken from a 1964 booklet, “New Home Office The Union Central Life Insurance Company Cincinnati”, and from archival photos found in Winter’s studio after his death. Photos courtesy of K. Nowack.)

The mural in the Meditation Room or Chapel is an abstract design made from marble chips and semi-precious stones and was titled the “Eternal Light”. This mural “‘speaks’ to the spirit with a message of power and personal peace.”

Archival photo of Lumen Winter and his family examining the completed mural for the Meditation Room with mosaic workers in Carrera, Italy where the work was fabricated. The mosaic murals were assembled in reverse, broken into sections, shipped to Cincinnati, and reassembled by Winter. (Courtesy of K. Nowack)

We believe Winter designed two murals for the cafeteria: a Venetian glass mosaic scene of the Ohio River front at Cincinnati and a modern “pop-art” screen, which seems to have disappeared.

Winter with his full-size cartoon of the Venetian glass mosaic mural.

The “Ohio River Front at Cincinnati” mosaic mural, 1964.

In 2011 The Union Central Life Insurance Co. was merged into the Ameritas Life Insurance Company. (“Ameritas merges with affiliated life insurers”, Lincoln Journal Star, December 13, 2011;, in 2013 Ameritas held a groundbreaking ceremony for new office space in Forest Park, and the contents of the 1964 Union Central Life building were sold at auction. The auctioneer of the Union Central building contents told us that the Lumen Winter works of art were removed from the 1876 Waycross Road building and repurposed in the new Ameritas building in Forest Park. (Email from Penny Worley Auctioneers to Michael Padwee dated June 9, 2016)

Thanks to Mr. Dirk A. Richards, the Director of Facilities at Ameritas, we have a set of photos of the Winter murals in their new settings. We are happy to say that Ameritas Life preserved these works of art so that new generations will be able to appreciate them.

A 28’ long bronze mural, “7 Vital Needs for Life Insurance” (1964), in 2016. Two photos were combined so that the entire mural could be seen. The left side should be curved more toward the viewer. (Photos courtesy of Dirk Richards, Director of Facilities, Ameritas Life, Forest Park, Ohio)

An 18’ long abstract bronze screen with a detail view, 2016.

The Venetian glass mosaic mural of the “Ohio River Front at Cincinnati” (1964) in 2016.

The marble and semi-precious stones Meditation Room/Chapel mural (1964) in 2016. This mural is currently in storage until it can be reinstalled. According to Mr. Richards, this mural is similar to Lumen Winter’s mural for the Catholic Chapel at the Air Force Academy in Colorado Springs, Colorado.

Lumen Winter’s Air Force Academy Catholic Chapel mural. (; Photographer: Hustvedt.) “The focal point of the Catholic Chapel is the reredos, an abstract glass mosaic mural designed by Lumen Martin Winter and composed of varying shades of blue, turquoise, rose and gray tessera to form a portrayal of the firmament. Superimposed on the mural and depicting the Annunciation are two 10-foot (3.0 m) tall marble figures, the Virgin Mary on the left, and the Archangel Gabriel on the right. Above and between these two figures is a marble dove.” (

The Kansas Capitol Murals

Many of Winter’s non-religious murals had regional and/or historical subject matter. Winter’s murals for the Kansas State Capitol Building followed in this vein. 

“In 1976 the Kansas Legislature created a committee to find an artist to complete the space in the second floor rotunda of the Kansas State Capitol, where John Steuart Curry's mural would have gone. Winter was selected to create the series of eight scenes depicting history, agriculture, industry, and education. He took care to avoid the controversy Curry had experienced,* thoroughly researching Kansas history, conducting surveys, and working in his studio in Santa Fe, New Mexico, out of view of the public.” (

”The Sacking of Lawrence”: “Violence erupted in Lawrence a few days after the non-fatal shooting of Douglas County Sheriff Samuel Jones as he attempted to arrest free-state settlers. On May 21, 1856, a group of 800 southern men led by Jones destroyed printing presses and the Free State Hotel.” (

Winter’s youth, spent on a Kansas farm alongside the Santa Fe Trail were evident in the work he did in the Kansas Statehouse.

”Threshing”: “Wheat farmers in Kansas loosened the edible grains from the chaff using a
horse-powered operation until steam engines became available in the late 19th century.” (

*[“In 1937 the state of Kansas commissioned John Steuart Curry to paint a series of murals depicting its history for the state capitol building. The largest commission of his career would also prove to be the most controversial, angering both citizens and politicians. Curry organized his murals into three acts: Tragic Prelude, the settlement of Kansas; Kansas Pastoral, life on the plains; and the third unnamed and unfinished act, agricultural prosperity. Tragic Prelude, the most heavily criticized, portrayed the anti-slavery militant John Brown, whom Curry saw as a significant figure in the state’s history.

“Tragic Prelude” was painted by John Steuart Curry (1937-1942) on the second floor rotunda, east wing of the State Capitol. “Curry’s interpretation of John Brown and the antislavery movement in Kansas Territory before the Civil War, is considered one of his best murals. Rich in symbolism, the painting depicts John Brown as an important, albeit fanatic man who would kill for his beliefs. ...The tornado and prairie fires represent the storms of war that gathered and the fires of war that swept the land. The men on either side of Brown symbolize the brother against brother conflict of the Civil War. Curry’s critics disliked his color scheme and the overall menacing effect of the mural.” (

“Many critics felt Brown had no place in such a prominent mural. ...Reactions to Curry’s murals reflected two viewpoints: those who applauded his honest representations of the harshness of Kansas life, and those who felt he should stick to scenes of the state’s beauty, creating an uplifting and optimistic mural. ...In order to fit his murals into the capitol’s rotunda, Curry asked that a portion of Italian marble at the bottom of a wall be removed. The public opposed to the content of the murals pressured the legislature to deny his request. Outraged over the decision, Curry refused to sign the two finished acts, leaving the third incomplete.” (

In her Ph.D. dissertation, Kate M. Meyer discusses this controversy. She writes, “[it] should be noted that the Legislature’s decision indicated an unwillingness to tear down the marble, not a cease-and-desist order for the project. The marble remains in place to this day and in 1976 Lumen Winter created murals in the wall spaces above the marble. There are no indications Curry considered the possibility of adapting to the constraints of the space, although it is somewhat unlikely that funds would have been appropriated to pay for the rest of the work even if Curry had compromised on the matter.” (Kate M. Meyer, “BROKEN GROUND: PLOWING AND AMERICA’S CULTURAL LANDSCAPE IN THE 1930s”, 2011, p. 144, Footnote 55. Submitted to the graduate degree program in the Kress Foundation Department of Art History and the Graduate Faculty of the University of Kansas in partial fulfillment of the requirements for the degree of Doctor of Philosophy)]

Winter completed many other Regionalist, historic-style murals. Some, like his WPA Post Office murals, and his Ohio River Front mural have been discussed above. There are others, though, that focus on New York.

The Jacob Ruppert “Knickerbocker” Brewery Murals

Winter painted a series of ten literary/historical/comedic murals in 1953 titled “History of New York” for the Jacob Ruppert “Knickerbocker” Brewery on East 90th-94th Streets between Second and Third Avenues in Manhattan (built c. 1867 - closed 1965). “Winter borrowed his ideas from Washington Irving’s book of the same title, and in which the founder of ‘Gotham’ was a fictional Dutchman named Deidrich Knickerbocker. ‘Gotham’ was taken from a mythical English village proverbially renowned for the follies of it’s wiseacre inhabitants. Winter’s murals illustrate passages from the book, which is about the discovery and early settlement of New Amsterdam.” ( oil on canvas murals --each 30”x40” except for one 30”x80”--were auctioned in June 2002 by Treadway Galleries.

”Shipwreck at Hell Gate”, "Anthony’s Nose", "Christening of Kip’s Bay", and "Dutch Weight", in which in this scene a "scrupulously honest" Dutchman tries to weigh the scale in his favor by placing his foot on it.

(L to R from UL): “Dutch Landing at Communipaw”; “Peter Stuyvesant's Legion” (30”x80”); “Hendrick Sights Manhattan”, where Henry Hudson puffs on his clay pipe and points out Manhattan Island to one of his officers; “Purchase of Manhattan”, which depicts the Dutch and the Indians looking on in amazement as Oloffe Van Kortlandt spreads fat friend’s 10 pairs of breeches over Manhattan Island--the bargain agreed on was for as much land as a man’s "nether garments" could cover; “Stuyvesant Defies the English Fleet”, “Van Kortlandt Dreams of New York”, in which Van Kortlandt dreams of the future city while a vision of St. Nicholas starts to fade above him. (, Lots 477-486)

The East Brooklyn Savings Bank “Fishermen” Mural (1951)

A sketch of the “Fishermen” mural. (Photo Credit: K. Nowack)

In 1950 the East Brooklyn Savings Bank built a new, Art Deco building on the corner of East 17th Street and Avenue U in Brooklyn. In 1951 Lumen Winter finished an interior regionalist mural of 19th century fishermen at work titled “Fishermen of Sheepshead Bay”. The bank branch was the Sheepshead Bay branch of the East New York Savings Bank. The bank is now an HSBC branch bank.

The Fishermen mural in the HSBC bank (2016).

The Daytop Village Mural, "Ascent"

A lithograph of the “Ascent” mural. (Photo courtesy of K. Nowak)

Lumen Winter painted another local mural--though more futuristic--along a spiral staircase inside 54 West 40th Street, the Daytop (“Drug Addicts Yield to Persuasion”) Village building, in Manhattan. This mural, titled “Ascent”, “depicted a[n allegorical] journey from hope, through despair, and back into hope. The segments unfolded as one climbed the stairs. The happy ending came when one arrived at the second floor. ...For the Daytop mural, Mr. Winter painted representational figures in a crosshatched pattern that makes them seem to float against fantastic geometric patterns. The work is on canvas... .”
(David W. Dunlap, “CITY ROOM; Republicans, Addicts And a Building’s Evolution”, The New York Times, May 9, 2013;

(Photo credit: Suzanne DeChillo)

Daytop Village ran into financial troubles and filed for bankruptcy in 2012. The building was sold, and then rented by WeWork, an international company which operates “collaborative office space[s] for individuals and small businesses.” ( replaced the Daytop mural with one of its own. It is possible that “Ascent”, which was painted on canvas, was removed and is in storage.

The WeWork mural. (

In recent years there has been a growing interest in the Regionalist- and Realist-style murals and paintings of Lumen Winter. In 2015 the Harness Racing Museum in Goshen, New York held an exhibit of Winter’s watercolors painted in Santa Fe, New Mexico. Most of these were about horses. One critic wrote, “[the] position of Lumen Winter within American art falls within the wider realm of realism. He shares with his friend Thomas Hart Benton, a sensibility for curvilinear shape and movement. ...The vitality of Winter’s works is such that one senses an empathy and understanding for his subjects that is deeply felt. These horses are never anthropomorphized: their mental and emotional state is always that of a horse and nothing else, but the artist’s grasp of the inner forces that impel them is communicated with uncanny authority. ...On another level, these works characterize regionalism. The setting is New Mexico’s desert and mountain topography. The artist grew up on a Kansas ranch along the old Sante Fe trail. Though he trained and resided as an artist in NY, he later returned west and established a studio in Sante Fe.”  (Franklin Hill Perrell, “Art Exhibit at the Harness Racing Museum”, Artful Observer: Blog, July 8, 2015;

Sketch--Gift of Alexander Katlan in memory of Dr. Nathaniel R. & Lucille Katlan and Dr. Roberta Katlan Helfgott--Harness Racing Museum. (Courtesy of Alexander Katlan, Copyrighted ©Alexander Katlan)

In 1979 New Rochelle, New York, where Lumen Winter lived, built a new library with a large gallery, which was named the Lumen Winter Gallery. Winter had been a former president of the New Rochelle Art Association, and this gave the New Rochelle Art Association, which had been sponsoring art shows since 1914, a permanent home and adequate room for all of its shows. (!history/c19c1)

There are many other murals that have been created by Lumen Winter over a span of more than 50 years. Some of those not mentioned above are (some of these may no longer exist):

National Wildlife Federation, Headquarters Building, Washington, D.C. Dedicated by the late President John F. Kennedy.

"Rhapsody in Gold", Park Sheraton Hotel, New York City.

National Bank of Washington, Georgetown, Washington, D.C.

St. Francis with the Birds and Animals of Missouri, St. Francis Hospital, Marceline, Missouri.

Astor Home for Children, Rhinebeck, New York.

Fairfield University, New Library Building, Fairfield, Connecticut.

Cathedral College, Hillside, Long Island, New York

Gerald R. Ford Health & Physical Education Center

"Christ Healing the Sick", St. Joseph's Hospital, Phoenix, Arizona

"The Builders", Community Archives and Research Center, Grand Rapids, Michigan

"The Last Supper", Notre Dame, South Bend, Indiana

"The Titans", The United Nations, New York, New York

"Our Lady of the Highway" sculpture, now at the Marian Shrine, Stoney Point, New York

"The Great White Buffalo" sculpture, Kansas State Historical Society Museum, Topeka, Kansas


I would like to thank K. Nowack, the second wife of the widower of the daughter of Lumen Winter, for her help. Also, thanks to Dirk Richards, Director of Facilities, Ameritas Life, Forest Park, Ohio; and Alexander Katlan, Jimmy Emerson DVM, Sherman Cahal, Jordan McAlister and Treadway Auction Galleries for the use of photos; and Lisa Ostromm, Jim Casano, Barbara Esselborn and John Carlson of the New York City Public School System for their kind help.



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