Ravinia School
Robin Hood, 1940

Ravinia School, 736 Dean Avenue, Highland Park
Oil on canvas, two panels, 5'4" x 7'1" each
Artist: Unsigned, attributed to Mildred Waltrip (1911-)
Commissioned by: the Works Progress Administration, Federal Art Project

Two murals commissioned by the WPA, placed above the twin wooden benches of a niche or inglenook, bracket the entryway into the main building of the hundred-year-old Tudor-style school building. They illustrate episodes from the life of Robin Hood, the legendary English outlaw and popular hero who was said to have been born about 1160. Interwoven among the medieval figures in the first mural are descriptive captions: "Merry Men of Robin Hood; Richard ye Lion-Hearted, King of England and Robin ye Sheriff of Nottingham." The second mural continues the story: "Robin Meets Little John; Robin Meets Friar Tuck; and Death of Robin Hood at Kirklee Priory." A background of leafy green trees and foliage provides the setting and the unifying element for all the episodes. Although the murals are unsigned, I have attributed them to Mildred Waltrip based on the style of her other WPA commissions.

Ravinia School, Highland Park, Robin Hood, one of two panels. Photograph by Tom Van Eynde, courtesy of Ravinia School, murals commissioned by the Works Progress Administration, Federal Art Project.

An image from A Guide to Chicago's Murals by Mary Lackritz Gray

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