Florida WPA Art
Post Office New Deal Artwork – Most of the Post Office works of art were funded through commissions under the Treasury Department’s Section of Painting and Sculpture (later known as The Section of Fine Arts) and not the WPA.
“Often mistaken for WPA art, post office murals were actually executed by artists working for the Section of Fine Arts. Commonly known as “the Section,” it was established in 1934 and administered by the Procurement Division of the Treasury Department. Headed by Edward Bruce, a former lawyer, businessman, and artist, the Section’s main function was to select art of high quality to decorate public buildings if the funding was available. By providing decoration in public buildings, the art was made accessible to all people.” from “Articles from EnRoute : Off The Wall: New Deal Post Office Murals” by Patricia Raynor
Unless indicated, works of art are located in the US Post Office building.
New Deal Art in Florida
|De Funiak Springs||Thomas I. Laughlin||“Scene of Town”||1942||oil on canvas|
|Fort Pierce||Lucile Blanch||“Osceola Holding Informal Court with His Chiefs”||1938||oil on canvas|
|Jasper||Pietro Lazzari||“Harvest at Home” and “News from Afar”||1942||tempera|
|Lake Wales||Denman Fink||“Harvest Time – Lake Wales”||1942||mural|
|Lake Worth||Joseph D. Myers||“Settler Fighting Alligator from Rowboat”||1947||oil on canvas|
|Madison||George Snow Hill||“Long Staple Cotton”||1940||oil on canvas|
Miami Beach Branch
|Charles Russell Hardman||“Episodes from the History of Florida”||1940||oil on canvas|
Post Office and Court House
|Denman Fink||“Law Guides Florida Progress”||1940||oil on canvas|
Post Office and Court House (located in courtroom)
|Alexander Sambugnac||“Love and Hope” and “Wisdom and Courage”||1938||cast stone relief|
|Milton||George Snow Hill||“Loading Pulpwood”||1941||oil on canvas|
|Palm Beach||Charles Rosen||“Landscape” and “Seminole Indians”||1938||oil on canvas|
|Perry||George Snow Hill||“Cypress Logging”||1938||oil on canvas|
(now in Public Library)
|Charles R. Knight||“Prehistoric Life in Florida”||1942||oil on canvas|
|Tallahassee||Edward Buk Ulreich||“History of Florida”||1939||oil on canvas
|West Palm Beach
(moved to new Post Office, 801 Clematis St.)
|Stevan Dohanos||“The Legend of James Edward Hamilton, Mail Carrier”||1940||tempera|
All mural images depicted on this site are used with permission
of the United States Postal Service. All rights reserved.
New Deal art was also installed in the Florida Keys. The two primary sculptors were Joan van Breeman and Lambert Bemelman. One of Bemelman’s pieces is still extant at the Hurricane Memorial at Mile Marker 81.5. Van Breeman created a number of bas relief sculptures for public schools built by the WPA in the Upper Keys (to replace public schools destroyed by hurricanes). One of van Breeman’s work now is on display in the Harvey Government Center in Key West. Other works of hers are in the Travernier and Matecumbe Schools (done August 1938), the Islamorada Library, and the Plantation Key Courthouse. (facts from The WPA Federal Art Project By Jerry Wilkinson).
For those of you who wish to pursue your Florida research, you might want to contact:
- The Bienes Center for the Literary Arts through the Broward County Library has an extensive exhibition of WPA Florida art
- The University of Miami, Otto G. Richter Library Archives and Special Collection Department. There is a collection of records called the “Florida WPA Records” by Diane Gonzalez Kirby. (http://www.library.miami.edu/archives/papers/fwpa.html)
You can check out the site: http://www.keysarts.org/WPA-Spotlight.htm for the Keys WPA history.
There is a biography page on Key West artists at: http://www.keysarts.org/WPA-Biographies.htm