As a private home, the soaring entry hall of the Pink Palace mansion would have been finished in popular style, paneled in fine, dark woods and plaster ornamentation.
The ornamentation remains, but instead of wood panels, the 3-story tall room boasts a series of murals painted by young Memphis artist Burton Callicott, who would soon become famous world-wide.
The three murals were commissioned by the Works Progress Administration (W.P.A.) and commemorate the exploration of West Tennessee by the Spanish conquistador Hernando DeSoto. This masterpiece is the only surviving example of W.P.A. art in Memphis.
Burton Callicott Murals Added to Living New Deal Site
Research for the mansion redesign led our staff to discover the Living New Deal website, which has been run out of UC Berkeley for several years. The Berkley team is attempting to crowd source a map of all of the New Deal projects that are still visible in the United States. The Pink Palace Burton Callicott paintings over the grand staircase were not on the site, so we emailed them and they have been added to the database!