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Hicksville, NY New Deal Art

The following information and photographs were contributed by Greg Walsh, a 12th grade honors student at Hicksville, NY High School. During his Middle School years, he remembered seeing the WPA murals inside the main auditorium. The building, currently being used as the Middle School, is a historic building, and the site of the former High School. It is located on Jerusalem Avenue, Hicksville, Nassau County, NY 11801. The principal is Mr. Stephen Aronowitz.

These murals were funded by the Federal Art Project/WPA
New Deal/WPA Art in Hicksville, New York

“Curtis Airfield” – oil on canvas
by Joseph Allen Physioc (1936)

“Early Hicksville” – oil on canvas
by Joseph Allen Physioc (1936)

“Cantiague Rock” – oil on canvas
by Joseph Allen Physioc (1936)

“Farm Field” – oil on canvas
by Joseph Allen Physioc (1936)

Thanks to Greg Walsh for the photographs and information, and to Mr. Stephen Aronowitz, Principal, for his support.

These murals were done by Joseph Allen Physioc, and are titled “Man Beating Gold” (missing),”Cantiague Rock,” “Early Hicksville,” “Farm Field,” and “Curtis Airfield.” They are oil on canvas. Three of them measure approx. 8′ x 7′ and 2 of the murals are arched in shape and measure approx. 11′ x 7′. They were done in 1936 under the WPA/FAP.

Joseph Allen Physioc (1865-1951) who painted the murals in the Hicksville High School (now the Middle School) was best known as a scenic artist or stage designer for theater productions in New York City, most notably (when he was only twenty-seven), Richard Mansfield’s production of Bernard Shaw’s Arms and the man. Physioc, who lived in Bayville for many years, also created easel paintings and had a one-man exhibition of his art in Sea Cliff in 1949, which included paintings and models of stage settings.