20 August 2019

Post Office Murals

Mural of Cincinnati (detail)
Saul Steinberg (1914-1999)


US Post Office lobby artwork painted in the 1930s and 1940s was celebrated on 10 April 2019 with the issuance of the Post Office Murals Forever stamps.

The origin of Post Office murals can be traced back to 1933. That year, in a letter to longtime acquaintance President Franklin D. Roosevelt, artist George Biddle suggested that the U.S. government should commission artists in need of work to enliven the walls of public buildings. Later that year, perhaps spurred by Biddle’s plea, the Roosevelt administration established the Public Works of Art Project (PWAP). The New Deal program led to the hiring of more than 3,700 artists.

From 1934 through 1943, the Section commissioned more than 1,000 murals. The buildings were some of the country’s most widely trafficked public spaces, which meant many people could enjoy the murals.

Each of the pane's 10 stamps features a detail of one of five unique murals.

Sugarloaf Mountain, 1940
Rockville, Maryland
The work of Judson Smith (1880–1962) appears in Post Office locations in Upstate New York, Pennsylvania, and Maryland. Painted in oil on canvas, Sugarloaf Mountain depicts the small peak located near Frederick, Maryland. The Post Office in Rockville, Maryland, where the mural was initially installed is now a police station.


Antelope, 1939 
Florence, Colorado
The Section of Fine Arts commissioned artist Olive Rush (1873–1966) to create murals displayed at public buildings in Oklahoma, Colorado, and New Mexico, where she lived. Painted with tempera, Antelope features a herd of pronghorn, which are sometimes referred to as American antelope. The mural hangs in the lobby of the Florence Post Office in Colorado.


Mountains and Yucca, 1937
Deming, New Mexico
Painted in oil on canvas by Kenneth Miller Adams (1897–1966), Mountains and Yucca depicts Cookes Range, located in southwestern New Mexico just north of the Deming Post Office where the mural is displayed. This landscape is rendered in soft colors and features yucca shrubs and trees and other plant life.


Kiowas Moving Camp, 1936
Anadarko, Oklahoma
One of the Kiowa Six, a group of 20th-century Native-American artists hailing from Oklahoma, Stephen Mopope (1899–1974) designed a multi-part mural depicting Plains Indian life. Mopope and Kiowa Six artists James Auchiah (1906–1974) and Spencer Asah (ca. 1906–1954) painted 16 murals with tempera paint directly to the plaster walls in the lobby, including Kiowas Moving Camp. They can be seen at the Anadarko Post Office in Oklahoma.


Air Mail, 1941
Piggott, Arkansas
Daniel Rhodes (1911–1989) created murals that adorn public buildings and Post Office walls in the Midwest. Painted in oil on canvas, Air Mail depicts a letter carrier helping pilots load bags of mail onto their plane. The mural, which hangs in the lobby of the Piggott Post Office in Arkansas, is an ode to postal workers’ commitment to serving communities across the United States and beyond.

Information taken form here. Stamps sent by Bryon and Phillip (the USA).

2 comments:

  1. This was some amazing make work scheme!
    I have been known to travel out of my way to see murals.

    ReplyDelete

Thank you for coming. All your comments make me extremely happy.