Wednesday, January 25, 2017

Wednesday's Wonderful Collection - Arkansas post office murals records MS.000335

Post offices built in the 1930s during Franklin Roosevelt's New Deal were decorated with enduring images of America. Post office murals, while often mistaken for WPA art, were created by artists hired by the Treasury Department's Section of Fine Arts. "The Section" was established in 1934 and administered by the Procurement Division. Artists were selected through regional competitions based on anonymous sketches. Scenes of local interest and events were most desirable, with genre themes of Americans at work or leisure as the most popular subject matter.

This collection contains research materials concerning thirteen post offices collected by the Arkansas Historic Preservation Program. These photocopied materials include the correspondence, contracts, and images proposed by the artists to the Fine Arts Section of the Public Buildings branch of the United States Treasury Department. Twenty-one post office murals were painted in Arkansas. Not all remain extant.

  • 1. Berryville, relief sculpture created by Daniel Olney, 1940
  • 2. Dardanelle, painted by Ludwig Mactarian, 1939
  • 4. DeWitt, painted by William Traher, 1941
  • 3. DeQueen, painted by Henry Simon, 1942
  • 5. Lake Village, painted by Avery Johnson, 1940
  • 6. Monticello, relief sculpture created by Berta Margoulies, 1940
  • 7. Morrilton, painted by Richard Sargent, 1939
  • 8. Nashville, painted by John T. Robertson, 1939
  • 9. Paris, painted by Joseph Paul Vorst, 1940
  • 10. Piggott, painted by Dan Rhodes, 1940
  • 11. Siloam Springs, painted by Bertram R. Adams, 1940
  • 12. Van Buren, painted by E. Martin Hennings, 1940
  • 13. Wynne, painted by Ethel Magafan, 1940
  • 14. "Arkansas Post Offices and the Treasury Department's Section Art Program, 1938-1942," by Sandra Taylor Smith and Mark Christ

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