The project took several months as muralists Abraham
Lishinsky, Irving A. Block, and Abraham Lerner designed
and painted a 2,400 square foot mural depicting “Major
Influences in Civilization” for the auditorium.
Our own Harry Klaff, retired Tilden history teacher,
and editor of the Alumni News adds: “I always took my
history classes into the auditorium when we did the New
Deal. I got the whole history of those murals, courtesy of
Jerry Last (late Tilden art teacher), who knew Lishinsky
from East Flatbush. Lishinsky studied mural art in Mexico
and was influenced by Diego Rivera. He got the Tilden
job after submitting a few drawings to the WPA.
“When he finished in 1938, the WPA came down to
inspect. At that point, they accused him of being a Communist.
To the right of the stage is a large mural showing
workers with sickles, and on another, there’s a hammer
that looks like it was traced off the Soviet flag (see left
photo). On the top, near the ceiling, is a star.”