When Roosevelt took office in 1933, the Federal government quickly began to implement his promise of a new deal, focusing on the three R's: relief, recovery, and reform. Edward Bruce, a powerful banker and amateur painter, believed relief should extend to creative artists. With the full backing of the Roosevelt administration, and an extra nudge from the first lady, The Public Works of Art Project, called P.W.A.P, was funded for an initial two month period starting December 15, 1933.
The Lady of the Lake, as it came to be called, remained at Echo Park through the 1980s. Like many of the other art projects commissioned at the same time, it suffered the ravages of the passing decades and a city that only grew worse in regards to crime. Littered with graffiti, suffering from broken fingers, and plagued by erosion, the statue was put into storage in 1986. It would not be until 1999, during the ‘renaissance’ of Echo Park and the efforts to revitalize and restore the area that the Lady of the Lake would make her appearance once more. Not only had she been restored to her former glory, but this time she was covered in an anti-graffiti sealant.
Today she remains standing as a testament to the longevity, perseverance, and resilience of the human soul and creative mind.