Abolition of Bondage (1933)

Jose Maria Sert (Spanish. 1876 - 1945)

Abolition of Bondage

The first commission Jose Maria Sert received for Rockefeller Center was to paint four murals to decorate the ends of the elevator banks. The overall theme, as dictated by Rockefeller’s art committee, was: “These will explain man’s new mastery of the material universe.” The third of these four murals, Abolition of Bondage, is a commentary on slavery, which, at the time, could still be found worldwide. He depicts slaves toiling or bound to stakes; others are being freed, their shackles broken. Sert’s fourth mural, Abolition of War, expresses the elation felt at the end of a war.

North Corridor of 30 Rockefeller Plaza

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