Passengers boarding the train known as the City of New Orleans in the Union Passenger Terminal have seen Conrad Albrizio's mural.
It stretches along the top portion of the walls in the New Orleans train station waiting room, telling Louisiana's history in four parts: the "Age of Exploration," the "Age of Colonization," the "Age of Struggle" and the "Modern Age."
Albrizio received a commission to paint the murals in 1951. His sketches and renderings for the mural are on exhibition through Jan. 31 in the LSU Museum of Art's show simply titled, "Conrad Albrizio: New Orleans Union Passenger Terminal Sketches."
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"This is the first show that we've had in this space," says museum Director Daniel Stetson, referring to the small gallery between the main and Louisiana Art galleries. "We'll be changing this exhibit out often."
"The sketches displayed here illustrate his two-year design process," the museum label states. "Albrizio saw these murals as his most monumental project. He sought to reflect the dynamic spirit of Louisiana's history through interactions between figures, but also emphasized design by integrating angular blocks of color."
Albrizio also was teaching at the time at LSU, where he supervised his students in the painting of the frescoes in Allen Hall. He was a New York native who came to New Orleans in 1920, then worked as an architectural draftsman on the State Capitol.
The passenger terminal opened in 1954, replacing five depots that had serviced the city. Albrizio retired from teaching that same year. He died in Baton Rouge in 1973.