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Indiana New Deal Art

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.

Location Artist Title Date Medium
Alexandria Roland Schweinsburg “The Sledding Party” 1938 oil on canvas
Angola Charles Campbell “Hoosier Farm” 1938 oil on canvas
Attica Reva Jackman “Trek of the Covered Wagon to Indiana” 1938 oil on canvas
Aurora Henrik Martin Mayer “Down to the Ferry” 1938 oil on canvas
Batesville Orville Carroll “Rebuilding the Industrial Foundations of Batesville” 1938 tempera
Bedford John Fabion “Limestone Quarry Workers” 1942 terra-cotta relief
Berne Walter Gardner “Christmas Morning Mail” 1939 oil on canvas
Bloomfield Lilian Swann Saarinen “Waiting for the Mail” 1941 terra-cotta relief
Boonville Ida Abelman “Boonville Beginnings” 1941 tempera
Cambridge City Samuel F. Hershey “Pride of Cambridge City” 1941 oil on canvas
Crawfordsville Frank Long “Indiana Agriculture” 1942 oil on canvas
Crown Point George Melville Smith “From Such Beginnings Sprang the County of Lake” 1938 oil on canvas
Culver Jessie Hull Mayer “Arrival of the Mail in Culver” 1938 oil on canvas
Danville Gail W. Martin “Filling the Water Jugs – Haymaking Time” 1939 oil on canvas
Dunkirk Frances Foy “Preparations for Dunkirk Autumn Festival” 1941 oil on canvas
Fowler Nat Werner “Rest during Prairie Plowing” 1940 cast stone
Franklin Jean Swiggett “Local Industry” 1940 oil on canvas
Garrett Joe H. Cox “Clearing the Right of Way” 1938 oil on canvas
Gas City William A. Dolwick “Gas City in Boom Days” 1939 oil on canvas
Hobart William A. Dolwick “Early Hobart” 1938 oil on canvas
Broad Ripple Postal Station
Alan Tompkins “Suburban Street” 1942 oil on canvas
Post Office and Courthouse
David K. Rubins “Distribution of the Mail” 1939 oil on canvas
(2 panels)
Jasper Jessie Hull Mayer “Indiana Farming Scene” 1939 oil on canvas
Knightstown Raymond L. Morris “The Evening Mail” 1938 oil on canvas
Lafayette Henrik Martin Mayer “Sad News” and “Rural Delivery” 1936 mural
Lagrange Jessie Hull Mayer “Corn School” 1941 oil on canvas
Liberty Avery Johnson “Autumn Fields” 1939 oil on canvas
Ligonier Fay E. Davis “Cutting Timber” 1940 oil on canvas
Martinsville Alan Tompkins “The Arrival of the Mail” 1937 oil on canvas
Middlebury Raymond Redell “Early Middlebury Mail” 1939 oil on canvas
Monticello Marguerite Zorach “Hay Making” 1942 oil on canvas
Nappanee Grant Christian “Waiting for the Mail” 1938 oil on canvas
North Manchester Alan Tompkins “Indiana Farm – Sunday Afternoon” 1938 oil on canvas
Paoli Tom Rost “Rural Mail Carrier” 1939 oil on canvas
Pendleton William F. Kaeser “Loggers” 1941 oil on canvas
Rensselaer John E. Costigan “Receiving the Mail on the Farm” 1939 oil on canvas
Rockville Milton Avery “Landscape” 1939 oil on canvas
Spencer Joseph Meert “Harvesting” 1940 oil and tempera
Tell City Laci de Gerenday “The Noon Mail” 1939 wood relief
Terre Haute,
Post Office and Courthouse
Frederick Well Ross “The Signing of the Magna Charta” 1935 oil on canvas
(funded by TRAP)
Tipton Donald Mattison “Indiana Farming” 1937 oil on canvas
Union City Donald Mattison “Country Cousins” 1938 oil on canvas

All mural images depicted on this site are used with permission of the United States Postal Service. All rights reserved.

Parks, the Circus, the Klan, the Press by Thomas Hart Benton Indiana University, Bloomington Campus, Woodburn Hall

The state of Indiana is home to many examples of New Deal art, including one of the more controversial murals funded by the WPA. At Indiana University, Bloomington, there is a Thomas Hart Benton mural which features the KKK and its strong presence in Indiana. It has been the subject of dissent for many years but continues to provoke people to discuss and think about important social and political issues.

  • article: “Chancellor Brehm announces decision on Benton mural,” Indiana University (March 25, 2002) 
  • statement by Chancellor Sharon Stephens Brehm, Indiana University and her decision to retain the Thomas Hart Benton mural in spite of protests by the Black Students Union (March 25, 2002). 
  • article: “Mural Under Fire for Klan Depiction: Thomas Hart Benton Artwork Sparks Indiana University Debate,” NPR (March 26, 2002) 

Links to other Indiana New Deal sites:

The WPA in Indiana – This is a good general information site about the New Deal in Indiana.