{ subscribe_url: '/share/sites/library-of-congress-blogs/law.php' }

Banking and Law, Mural in San Francisco, CA – Pic of The Week

On a recent trip to the Bay Area, California, I stopped by Coit Tower in San Francisco. The 210-foot Coit Tower offers panoramic views of the San Francisco skyline from its observation deck. On the inside of the tower on the first floor, several murals depicting life in California during the Great Depression are on display. They were painted in 1934 by artists employed by the Public Works of Art Project (PWAP), a predecessor of the Works Progress Administration (WPA). One mural in particular caught my eye: “Banking and Law,” created by  George Albert Harris.

Banking and Law. George Albert Harris, artist. Photo by Jenny Gesley.

George Harris was one of the youngest artists to work on the frescos in Coit Tower. At the time, he was a student at the California School of Fine Arts. He subsequently obtained a Ph.D. from Stanford University. Later on, he taught art at Stanford University and various other colleges. In the 1970s, he moved to England and later retired in France, where he died in 1991.

According to the plaque in front of his mural, “Banking and Law is a serious look at both professions, yet his mural contains subtle humor and biting satire in the titles of the book in the law library. Some are legitimate titles, while others are named, for example, Law of Justice; Law of Averages; Laws of Fresco Painting, 1934.” The left side of the mural shows lawyers studying books, whereas the right side depicts guards with guns protecting bags of money. The top of the mural shows the stock market and clerks entering the latest numbers. The wall chart shows stock averages plummeting.

If you ever happen to be in the Bay Area, I recommend visiting Coit Tower. While you wait to go up to the observation deck, you can learn about life in the U.S. during the Great Depression by studying the murals, and later get rewarded with a fantastic view of the city.

Coit Tower, San Francisco, CA. Photo by Jenny Gesley.

Subscribe to In Custodia Legis – it’s free! – to receive interesting posts drawn from the Law Library of Congress’s vast collections and our staff’s expertise in U.S., foreign, and international law.

How Not to Apologize: A Lesson from a 17th Century Hospital in Barcelona

The following is a guest post by Alèxia Devin, who served as a fall 2021 remote intern transcribing and researching documents in the Herencia: Centuries of Spanish Legal Documents crowdsourcing campaign at the Law Library of Congress. Special thanks to Francisco Macías for translation and analysis assistance. During my Herencia internship, I transcribed quite a few historical documents that […]

Join Us for a Foreign and Comparative Law Webinar: “Illegal Migration in the Central and Western Mediterranean from the Perspective of International and Domestic Law”

On February 10, 2022, at 2pm EST, Foreign Law Specialist George Sadek will present our next Foreign and Comparative Law webinar, “Illegal Migration in the Central and Western Mediterranean from the Perspective of International and Domestic Law.” Please register here. Illegal migration in the central and western Mediterranean is not just an important legal topic but also […]

Congress.gov January 2022 New, Tip, and Top

In November 2021, Andrew brought us news of appropriation email alerts, allowing you to receive an email each time new appropriation measures are considered by Congress. In December 2021, Margaret mentioned that the Congress.gov team added content for the Bound Congressional Record dating all the way back to 1899. Since so much important work in […]

On this Day: The Danish Queen Margarethe II – 50 Years as Head of State

Today, January 14, 2022, the Danish Queen Margarethe II (Margrethe Alexandrine Þorhildur Ingrid) celebrates 50 years on the Danish throne. However, she was not born the heir apparent to the throne, but became Crown Princess of Denmark at the age of 13 when the Danish Parliament adopted an act of succession (Tronfølgelov) that allowed daughters to […]

Martin Luther King, Jr. Memorial in DC – Pic of the Week

Monday is Martin Luther King, Jr. Day, a federal holiday first celebrated 36 years ago in 1986. Our pic of the week is from the Martin Luther King, Jr. Memorial in Washington, D.C. This 30-foot tall granite memorial, sculpted in Dr. King’s likeness, sits at 1964 Independence Avenue, S.W., the address referencing the year the […]

New Report on the “Lifecycle of Parliamentary Documents” Published

A recent Law Library of Congress report describes the parliamentary document process in 10 jurisdictions around the world. The report, titled the Lifecycle of Parliamentary Documents, summarizes the findings of research conducted by foreign law specialists in the Law Library’s Global Legal Research Directorate based on legal sources from the jurisdictions surveyed. The report is […]

Introducing the Report on Turkish Presidential Decrees

This is a guest post by Kayahan Cantekin, a foreign law specialist in the Global Legal Research Directorate of the Law Library of Congress. Our new report, Turkey: Presidential Decrees is now available on law.gov. The report provides an overview of the president’s power to issue presidential decrees under the Turkish Constitution. The presidential decree is […]