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"Come Muse Migrate," Art Deco Study for White House Piano, with Whitman Poem



Gorgeously conceived and vividly hued, this study for the lid of the famous grand piano given by the Steinway Company to the White House in 1938, during the Franklin Delano Roosevelt administration, was painted by Dunbar Beck, inspired by a famous poem by Walt Whitman. The painting quotes two lines from Whitman's "Song of the Exposition," later included in "Leaves of Grass": Come Muse migrate from Greece and Ionia, For know a better, fresher, busier sphere, a wide, untried domain awaits, demands you. Beck is best known for his WPA work and his mural painting at the 1939-1940 New York World's fair, but his work with Steinway is equally important, artistically and historically. Beck painted a series of figures along the side of the piano, and generated a series of studies for the piano lid, including this one. The medium is gouache and pencil on heavy paper.


  • Creator
    Dunbar D. Beck (Painter)
  • Dimensions
    Height: 14.25 in. (36.2 cm)Width: 20.5 in. (52.07 cm)Depth: .1 in. (2.54 mm)
  • Style
    Art Deco (Of the Period)
  • Materials and Techniques
  • Place of Origin
  • Period
  • Date of Manufacture
  • Condition
  • Seller Location
    Philadelphia, PA
  • Reference Number
    1stDibs: LU865113181361

Shipping & Returns

  • Shipping
    $110 Standard Shipping
    to anywhere in the world, arrives in 3-5 weeks.
    We recommend this shipping type based on item size, type and fragility.
    Ships From: Philadelphia, PA
  • Return Policy

    This item cannot be returned.

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About the Seller
5 / 5
Located in Philadelphia, PA
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