PANAMá  |  Panamá City, Panamá Travel Guide
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The Panama Canal Murals

The Panama Canal Murals

These beautiful murals portray in graphic detail the heroic efforts that resulted in Panama Canal, known as “the path between the seas.” Mounted in the Panama Canal Administration Building’s towering rotunda, the powerfully poignant 1,000-square-foot murals were painted by New York artist William Van Ingen, who created murals for the Library of Congress in Washington DC and the US Mint in Philadelphia. The four main murals illustrate the construction of Gaillard Cut at Gold Hill, where the canal passes through the continental divide; the Gatún Dam spillway that dammed the Chagres River to create massive Gatún Lake; construction of a lock miter gate; and the construction of the Miraflores Locks, near the canal’s Pacific entrance.

During two visits to the construction sites in 1914, Van Ingen and his assistants made charcoal sketches of the works in progress, then returned to New York to paint the boldly brush-stroked murals. Brought to Panamá in January 1915 and installed under Van Ingen’s personal supervision, they are the largest grouping of murals by an American artist displayed outside of the United States. The aging murals were restored in 1993 by Anton Rajur, an art conservator from Madison, Wisconsin and rededicated in a ceremony held September 29, 1993.

The Administration Building dominates the side of Ancón Hill in the Balboa Heights district. A taxi from town will cost $3-$4. There are an astounding 113 steps up to the building from the plaza and the Goethels monument, built to honor George W. Goethels, the canal’s chief construction engineer. 

Last updated December 19, 2007
Posted in   Panamá  |  Panamá City
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