A New England Town Meeting

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South Wall of the Law Library, 4th Floor

man pointing to an old mural on the wall of the County CourthouseThus far, little can be gleaned regarding the mural in the Law Library identified as “A New England Town Meeting.” The Library of Congress Catalogue of Copyright Entries, Part 4, New Series Volume 7,  For the year 1912, describes the mural in this way: “Man from group at right approaching group at left where men are casting slips of paper in hat held by boy.”  More information, however, is available about the artist, Max Bohm, who was born in Cleveland, Ohio. He spent many years in Europe, studying in artist communities in Brittany and Paris. Mr. Bohm opened a school of painting on the coast of France and also taught painting in London. In 1909 Bohm was engaged to create a mural for the new Cuyahoga County Court House and he and his family came back to the U.S. in 1909, returning to Paris the following year. His mural was installed at the Court House in 1912.  To better understand the nature of Bohm’s art one might reflect on the words of a New York critic in 1927: “The work of this painter achieves the rare mastery of combining great sincerity with versatility. He observed and interpreted life through the board, universal understanding of the genuine artist, and his brush let to a large range of themes the same conviction, the same triumph of idea over medium. Regardless of subject, he entered firmly into the spirit of it with an eloquence of line, a living color, and a control of mood that reveal extraordinary power.” 

mural painting on wall of County CourthouseMax Bohm died in Provincetown Massachusetts in 1923. His papers are in the holdings of the Archives of American Art.