Northville District Library

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Portrait of William H. Maybury

William Maybury Portrait at NDLAn original portrait of William H. Maybury is on display in the Local History Room of the Library, on loan from the U.S. General Services Administration, Fine Arts Commission.  Maybury was a native Detroiter who was in charge of the construction of the Maybury Sanatorium facility built in 1921 to help fight the raging war on tuberculosis.  The Sanatorium closed in 1969 and became Maybury State Park in 1975.

The portrait, painted by J. Raeburn Middleton,  was completed in 1934 under the auspices of the Public Works of Art Project.  The PWAP was the first of four federal arts projects during Franklin Roosevelt’s New Deal administration. The PWAP was the first federal program to support the arts nationally, and employed thousands of artists during the Great Depression.

The Detroit Institute of Arts suggested to the U.S. GSA that it find a local site to display the painting, and the Northville District Library met the government requirements for housing the portrait that included climate control within the facility and a full-time professional staff.  Alfred Ackerman, Head of Conservation and Painting Conservator for the DIA, and a 22-year Northville resident, restored the Maybury painting.

Photo Caption:    Alfred Ackerman, Head of Conservation and Painting Conservator at the Detroit Institute of Arts and Library Director Julie Herrin with the recently installed portrait of William H. Maybury .
(Photo courtesy of Steve Fecht)

Loan from the Fine Arts Program, Public Buildings Service, U.S. General Services Administration
Commissioned through the New Deal Art Projects

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