CFA 21/MAY/09-6


Lyndon Baines Johnson Department of Education Building
400 Maryland Avenue, SW
United States

U.S. Department of Education
Lyndon Baines Johnson Department of Education Building
Installation of perforated vinyl film with enlarged photographs of children in 44 windows on the ground floor between the entrance doors
Review Type


Dear Mr. Yale:

In its meeting of 21 May, the Commission of Fine Arts reviewed the concept proposal for the installation of 44 enlarged photographs of children on perforated vinyl film on the ground-floor windows between the entrance doors of the Lyndon Baines Johnson Department of Education Building at 400 Maryland Avenue, SW. While expressing concerns with the proposal, the Commission recognized the Department's desire to relate the building to its mission and granted approval to install the images on a temporary basis, for a maximum of six months.

In their discussion, the Commission members noted reservations about the commercial appearance of the installation as well as the potential loss of visual transparency and light transmission into the building lobby. They strongly urged the use of black and white instead of color photographs, which would help to diminish the commercial character of the installation.

The Commission members noted the opportunity for this initiative to produce a thoughtful piece of communication that would align with the identity and mission of the Department of Education in achieving the goals stated in this submission. They suggested that these installations could be more dynamic in character, such as projected images or rotating displays of student artwork in the windows; they suggested consideration of collaborative installations with art or architecture students.

The Commission members look forward to working with the Department of Education to develop a more appropriate long-term program before the end of the six-month limit on the proposed installation. As always, the staff is available to assist you with future submissions.


/s/Thomas E. Luebke, AIA

Matt Yale, Deputy Chief of Staff
U.S. Department of Education
400 Maryland Avenue, SW
Washington, DC 20002-0100

cc: Michael McGill, General Services Administration