Samuel Gompers High School

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Coordinates: 40°48′37″N 73°54′27″W / 40.8103°N 73.9074°W / 40.8103; -73.9074

Samuel Gompers High School (2012)
WPA muralist Eric Mose at work on his fresco, Power (1936), in the library of Samuel Gompers Industrial High School for Boys
Eric Mose with his mural Power (1936)

Samuel Gompers Career and Technical Education High School was a public vocational school for grades 9–12 located in East Morrisania, Bronx, New York, named for American Federation of Labor founder Samuel Gompers. The school was founded in 1930 as Samuel Gompers Industrial High School for Boys.[1] It was closed in 2012.[2]


To provide the means for intellectual, emotional, ethical, social, and physical growth and an appreciation for cultural and ethnic diversity: to teach all regular education, special education, and bilingual students how to learn, to provide technical skills, and to foster in each student the desire for lifelong learning. This will assist every individual to become an informed and productive participant in our democratic society.

Public art[edit]

Samuel Gompers High School is the site for a notable Federal Art Project mural created in 1936 by Eric Mose. The three-panel, 600-square-foot[3]:141 fresco, Power,[4] was created in the school library. The work was described in an April 1938 article in The New York Times:[5]

The central theme of this mural is Light. The artist of two decades ago probably would have pictured light as a Greek lady with a torch, or possibly as Prometheus. Mose, however, has combined cubism with physics. The central "figure" is a stylized abstraction of the sun, seen in design with a prism, which relates to a broad band of color that runs along the top of the mural and is broken up into brilliant stripes—the spectrum.

Beneath this field the artist has made an abstract design of the forms through which we know light and power. One recognizes spark-plugs, dynamos and such actual electrical machines as a fan. Those forms are all carried out in color-design derived from the spectrum above, and interestingly applied to individual objects such as infra-red, violet ray and other "light" instruments.

Thus the mural, a great field of glowing, angled color that looks, superficially, like something by a cubist, and has the quality of Chartres stained glass, is at the same time an accurate scientific chart. Moveover, it is used as one by the school, and so effectively that almost any boy one may find in the library can explain its design.[5]


  1. ^ "Gompers School to be begun in fall". New York Times. July 14, 1930. Retrieved 10 July 2012.
  2. ^ "Struggling Gompers HS nixed to make way for five other career and technical schools in the Bronx". New York Daily News. February 23, 2012. Retrieved 10 July 2012.
  3. ^ Cahill, Holger (1936). Barr, Alfred H., Jr., ed. New Horizons in American Art. New York: Museum of Modern Art. OCLC 501632161.
  4. ^ "Power, Eric Mose". Public Art for Public Schools. New York City Department of Education. Retrieved 2015-06-10.
  5. ^ a b Brenner, Anita (April 10, 1938). "America Creates American Murals". The New York Times. Retrieved 2015-06-10.

External links[edit]