Iowa New Deal Art
Post Office Artwork in Iowa - 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
Ames, IA – Artist Grant Wood’s largest murals are in the Parks Library, Iowa State University. Wood designed the murals, which were painted by artists in the 1930′s WPA program. The library is located at Grand and Main Streets in Ames, IA. Considered among the best works of this Iowa artist, the nine murals began as a WPA project during the Great Depression. They depict various academic divisions of the school as well as the breaking of the sod by pioneer farmers.
Cedar Rapids, IA – There is a WPA mural in the Harrison Elementary School done by William E. Henning, one of Grant Wood’s proteges. The mural depicts the history of transportation in Cedar Rapids and still hangs in the hallway in the main foyer area of the school.
Waterloo, IA – There is a WPA mural by Edgar Britton in the Waterloo, IA Library. It might be moved to the Cedar Falls library if the old Waterloo Library building is torn down.
Unless indicated, works of art are located in the US Post Office building.
|Algona(now the Algona Public Library)||Francis Robert White||“Daily Bread”||1941||oil on canvas|
|Ames||Lowell Houser||“Evolution of Corn”||1938||oil on canvas|
|Audubon||Virginia Snedeker||“Audubon’s Trip down the Ohio and Mississippi – 1820″||1942||oil on canvas|
|Bloomfield||John Sharp||“Autumn in Iowa”||1940||oil on canvas|
|Francis R. White||“Community Service,” “Development of the West,” “Archeological Research,” and “Superstition and Science”||1937||tempera
(funded by TRAP)
|Clarion||Paul Faulkner||farm scene||1943||tempera|
|Columbus Junction||Sante Graziani||“Lovers’ Leap”||1942||fresco|
|Corning||Marion Gilmore||“Band Concert”||1941||egg tempera
|Corydon||Marion Gilmore||“Volunteer Fire Department”||1942||mural|
|Cresco||Richard Haines||“Iowa Farming”||1937||oil on canvas|
(now City Hall)
|John V. Bloom||“Shucking Corn”||1938||oil on canvas|
|Dubuque||Bertrand R. Adams||“Early Settlers of Dubuque”||1937||oil on canvas|
|Dubuque||William E. L. Bunn||“Early Mississippi Steamboat”||1937||oil on canvas|
|Emmetsburg||Lee Allen||“Conservation of Wild Life”||1940||oil on canvas|
|Forest City||Orr C. Fisher||“Evening on the Farm”||1942||oil on canvas|
|Hamburg||William E. L. Bunn||“Peony Festival at Hamburg”||1941||mural (extensive damage)|
|Harlan||Richard Gates||“The Farmer Feeding Industry”||1937||oil on canvas|
|Hawarden||John Sharp||“Hunters”||1942||oil on canvas|
|Ida Grove||Andrene J. Kauffman||“Preparation for the First County Fair in Ida Grove – 1872″||1940||oil on canvas|
|Independence||Robert Tabor||“Postman in Storm”||1938||oil on canvas|
|Jefferson||Tom Savage||“The New Calf”||1938||oil on canvas|
|Knoxville||Marvin Beerbohn||“Pioneer Group at the Red Rock Line – 1845″||1941||oil on canvas|
|Leon||A. Criss Glasell||“Rural Free Delivery”||1938||tempera|
|Manchester||William E. Henning||“Iowa Farm Life”||1938||mural|
|Marion (now City Hall)||Dan Rhodes||“Communication by Mail”||1939||tempera|
|Missouri Valley||Francis Robert White||“Iowa Fair”||1938||tempera|
|Monticello||William C. Palmer||“Iowa Landscape”||1941||oil on canvas|
|Mount Ayr||Orr C. Fisher||“The Corn Parade”||1941||oil on canvas|
|Mount Pleasant||Dorothea Tomlinson||“Mount Pleasant in the Forties”||1939||oil on canvas|
|New Hampton||Tom Savage||“Breaking the Colt”||1939||oil on canvas|
|Onowa||Lee Allen||“Soil Erosion and Control”||1938||oil on canvas|
|Osceola||Byron B. Boyd||“Arrival of the First Train”||1936||oil on canvas|
|Pella||Byron B. Boyd||“Hollanders Settle in Pella”||1938||tempera|
|Rockwell City||John Sharp||“Summer”||1941||oil on canvas|
|Sigourney||Richard Olsen||“Indian Harvest”||1940||oil on canvas|
|Storm Lake (moved to Public Library)||Dan Rhodes||“Storm Lake”||1937||oil on canvas|
|Tipton||John V. Bloom||“Cattle”||1940||oil on canvas|
|Waterloo (now Public Library)||Edgar Britton||“Exposition” and “Holiday”||1940||fresco|
|Waverly||Mildred Pelzer Lynch||“Letter from Home in 1856″||1938||oil on canvas|
All mural images depicted on this site are used with permission of the United States Postal Service. All rights reserved.