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Social Security Board Building, Washington, D.C. FEDERAL WORKS AGENCY PUBLIC BUILDINGS ADMINISTRATION WASHINGTON OFFICE OF THE SUPERVISING ARCHITECT IN REPLYING QUOTE THE ABOVE SUBJECT, BUILDING AND THESE LETTERS SA-FA. [[stamped]] NOV 1 1940 [[/stamped]] Mr. Ben Shahn, Jersey Homesteads, Highstown [[Highstown]], New Jersey. Dear Mr. Shahn: The jury composed of Messrs. Edward Biberman, Kindred McLeary, Franklin Watkins and Mrs. Marguerite Zorach met October 23 through October 25 to review the 375 entries submitted for the mural decorations of the Social Security Board Building, Washington, D.C. The designs for the corridor mural scheme which were recommended to the Commissioner of Public Buildings for award proved to be by Mr. Ben Shahn, of New York. The jury in its report made the following statement relative to the winning designs: “The elements that finally weighed in favor of the winning designs were as follows: Indications that the artist drew from life, not relying entirely on his or her supreme knowledge of design. There is a variety in the tempo and texture. The pattern advances and recedes, changing its beat, the crowded parts always finding relief. This element we found lacking in most other entries. The color is sombre, but good, and in keeping with the meaning of the subject theme, and it is well integrated in the design. There is a continuity, and the mural as a whole is well bound together. The enlarged detail promises a proper execution of this work and we feel well satisfied and confident in our unanimous choice.” The jury felt that none of the designs submitted for the Auditorium murals merited an award. They recommended, however, that the designs submitted by Mr. Philip Guston for the corridor be revised for the Auditorium murals and that he be awarded the commission for these decorations. They further recommended that the designs submitted by Mr. Seymour Fogel be revised for the two panels in the Independence Avenue entrance lobby and that he be awarded this commission.