"A More Perfect Union" - The Signing of the Constitution Mural by Alton S. Tobey commissioned by Chief Justice Burger for the 1987 Bicentennial of the U.S. Constitution
Alton S. Tobey, Artist and Historian
Longtime Larchmont resident, Alton S. Tobey is
nationally known for his murals, many of them are stirring
panoramas depicting themes from American history. His works are in
the collections of the Smithsonian Institution, the Metropolitan
Opera Gallery, Museum of the City of New York, West Point Museum,
and corporate, government and library collections. Tobey claims he
has painted every major event in American history; 300 of his
paintings were published in the 12 volume series of
of American History.
His mural, A More Perfect Union, was
commissioned by Chief Justice Warren Burger to commemorate the
Bicentennial of the U.S. Constitution. Another mural Equal Justice Under Law, shows sixteen Justices of the Supreme
Court. Tobey says he enjoys the academic research in preparing his
murals, which he describes as "operatic affairs-elements harnessed
to a single idea to produce an emotional effect." He painted a
45-foot mural on the wall of the County Courthouse in White Plains,
The Roots of Westchester, so that the children of
Westchester would understand and appreciate where they live. The
mural contains references and figures important to Westchester
history, some of these are depictions of George Washington, Henry
Hudson's ship, Indian wigwams, the first national flag, and Thomas
Born around 1912, Tobey is also an acclaimed
portraitist, who has captured the visages of Albert Einstein,
Robert Frost, General Douglas MacArthur, Arturo Toscanini, Golda
Meir, Robert Frost, and many others. Tobey received his B.A. and
M.A. in Fine Arts from Yale University, where he once taught art
history. His art is not always realistic. He has practiced a style
he calls curvilinear, which eliminates all straight lines and is
essentially two dimensional, another he has used is "fragments,"
which captured portions of a visage "to capture an essence
revealing the extraordinary that lurks within the ordinary."
Documentation includes printed copies and facsimiles
of his murals and portraits, and newspaper articles.
Originally submitted by: Nita M. Lowey,Representative (18th District).
The Local Legacies project provides a "snapshot" of American Culture as it was expressed in spring of 2000. Consequently, it is not being updated with new or revised information with the exception of "Related Website" links.