|Detail, "History of Labor in the State of Maine," Judy Taylor, Artist|
|"History of Labor in the State of Maine," Judy Taylor, Artist|
This is a mural that [formerly] adorns[ed] the Department of Labor in the state of Maine. Measuring 8′ high by 36′ long, it was created by Maine artist Judy Taylor in 2007/2008 to commemorate significant moments in Maine’s labor history, including the adoption of child labor laws, better working conditions for all workers and the increasing significance of women in the labor force. It also memorializes Maine native Frances Perkins, who was the Secretary of Labor under FDR, the first female to hold any cabinet post. It glorifies the plight of the worker in an appropriate setting, the Department of Labor, and is a striking and significant piece of public art. Description via http://redtreetimes.com/2011/03/. [Elisions and edits, mine]
AUGUSTA, Maine — Nearly two years after Gov. Paul LePage had a mural depicting Maine labor history removed from the lobby of the Department of Labor building, the artwork resurfaced Monday at its new home: the Maine State Museum.
“This is now a famous piece of art, and we are glad that the museum can provide the security, the space, the exhibit and conservation expertise that we at the Department of Labor cannot,” Paquette said during an unveiling event Monday morning. “Our department’s mission in this tough economy is to serve the employers and the workers of Maine. We can now put all of our focus on getting people back to work and helping businesses comply with regulations that ensure a strong workforce for our state.”
LePage ordered the mural removed from the Labor Department lobby in March 2011, saying it presented a one-sided view of history and was not in keeping with the pro-business message of his administration. LePage said he received an anonymous letter from a businessman who compared the mural to North Korean propaganda.