Robert F. Kennedy Department of Justice Building, Washington, D.C.
In 1935, Poor received a commission to decorate the areas surrounding four doors in the Attorney General’s suite in the Department of Justice building. He began the project in March 1936 and completed it within five months. This painting is a study, executed in true fresco, for two of the three panels that adorn the Office of the Attorney General.
The Justice Department building was one of numerous federal structures in Washington, D.C., undergoing decoration in the 1930s under the auspices of the Section of Fine Arts, and many of the nations most highly regarded artists were involved. In 1938, Penn State professors Harold E. Dickson, Francis E. Hyslop, and J. Burn Helme traveled to the city in an effort to find the appropriate artist for their planned fresco in Old Main. They had initially hoped to hire Pennsylvania artist George Biddle, then one of the leading muralists in the country. When they viewed Poor’s frescoes in the Justice building, however, they knew he was the right person for what they had in mind.