Berryhill Elementary School
3128 S. 63rd West Avenue
Ichabod Crane, by Mary McCray, 1934 (oil on canvas)
Uncle Remus, by Mary McCray, 1934 (oil on canvas)
These two murals were originally designed for the library in the Berryhill Junior High School. By the mid-l 970s these murals had been moved from the library into the auditorium at the junior high. When the junior high was renovated about ten years ago, the murals were moved to their present location in the cafeteria at Berryhill Elementary School, across the street from the junior high. Planned renovations at Berryhill Elementary School will convert the present cafeteria into a new library, and the murals will remain there. The primary rationale for not recommending that these murals warrant further study is because they are not in situ. The murals are in fair condition. The Uncle Remus mural has a few tears in the canvas, and both are quite dirty, showing the effects of being located in a cafeteria where things have splattered on them.
Although additional research is needed, these two murals may have a special significance in terms of their association with New Deal art. The murals were created as a result of the Public Works of Art Project (PW AP). This project tended to fund artists living and working in urban areas. As a rural locale in the 1930s, Berryhill may constitute the only rural location to receive PW AP art in the United States. If this can be confirmed, the significance of these murals should be re-evaluated.
- Thematic Survey of New Deal Era Public Art in Oklahoma 2003-2004, Project Number: 03-401 (Department of Geography, Oklahoma State University)