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New Deal Art in North Carolina

Post Office Artwork in North Carolina - 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
Ahoskie Julien Binford “The Peanut Harvest” no date mural
(destroyed prior to 1970)
Albemarle Louis Ribak “View Near Albemarle” 1939 mural
Beaufort Simka Simkhovitch “Crissy Wright,” “Goose Decoys,” “Mail to Cape Lookout,” and “Sand Ponies” 1940 oil on canvas
Belmont Peter DeAnna “Major William Chronicle’s South Fork Boys” 1940 oil on canvas
Boone Alan Tompkins “Daniel Boone on a Hunting Trip in Watuaga County” 1940 oil on canvas
Brevard Pietro Lazzari “Good News” 1941 glazed tempera
Federal Building
Arthur Leroy Bairnsfather “Cotton Textiles” and “Historical Railroad Station” 1940 oil on canvas
Canton Sam Bell “Paper” 1940 terra-cotta reliefs (7 reliefs)
Chapel Hill Dean Cornwell “Laying the Cornerstone of Old East” 1941 oil on canvas
Concord Edward Buk Ulreich “The Spirit of North Carolina” 1942 mural (destroyed when the PO building was demolished in 1967)
Dunn (now used as
the Dunn Daily Record newspaper office)
Paul Rudin “Cotton and Tobacco” 1939 relief
(formerly Leaksville)
Ruth Nickerson “American Oriental Rug Weaving” 1941 glazed terra-cotta
Elkin Anita Weschler “Early Days at Elkin” 1939 sculpture
Forest City Duane Champlain “Rural Delivery” 1939 plaster relief
Gastonia Francis Speight “Cotton Field and Spinning Mill” 1938 oil on canvas
Hamlet Nena de Brennecke “Peaches,” “Drilling,” and “Dewberries” 1942 carved mahogany reliefs
Kings Mountain Verona Burkhard “Battle of Kings Mountain” 1941 mural
Laurinburg Agnes Tait “Fruits of the Land” 1941 oil on canvas
Lincolnton Richard Jansen “Threshing Grain” 1938 oil on canvas
Louisburg Richard Kenah “Tobacco Auction” 1939 oil on canvas
Madison Jean Watson “Early Summer in North Carolina” 1940 oil on canvas
Marion Bruno Piccirilli “Unity” 1939 sculpture
Mebane Margaret C. Gates “Landscape – Tobacco Curing” 1941 oil on canvas
(destroyed – copy by Henry D. Rodd installed in 1964)
Mooresville (bldg now used as City School offices) Alicia Weincek “North Carolina Cotton Industry” 1938 oil on canvas
Morganton Dean Cornwell “Sir Walter Raleigh” and “First Landing on North Carolina Shore” 1938 mural
New Bern,
Post Office & Courthouse
David Silvette “The Bayard Singleton Case,” “First Printing Press in North Carolina (1749),” and “First Provincial Convention in North Carolina (1774)” 1938 oil on canvas
Red Springs John W. de Groot “War – The Battle of Little Raft Swamp,” “The Coming of the Scots,” and “Peace – Work and Knowledge” 1941 mural
Reidsville Gordon Samstag “Tobacco” 1938 oil on canvas
Roanoke Rapids Charles W. Ward “Cotton Pickers” 1938 mural (missing)
Rockingham Edward Laning “The Past as Connecting Thread in Human Life” 1937 oil on canvas triptych
Roxboro (now in the Piedmont Technical Institute, Occupational Education Center) Allan Gould “Gathering Tobacco” 1938 mural
Sanford Pietro Lazzari “The Kinsfolk of Virginia Dare” 1938 mural
Siler City Maxwell B. Starr “Building the First House at Siler’s Crossroads” 1942 oil on canvas
Southern Pines Josef Presser “Southern Pines Idyll” (incorrectly listed in Democratic Vistas as“Horses”) 1943 oil on canvas
Post Office and Courthouse
Sahl Swarz “Freeman Prosper” and “Defend Freedom” 1948 freestanding wood
(located in courtroom)
Wake Forest Harold G. Egan “Richness of the Soil No. 2″ 1941 mural
Wallace G. Glenn Newell “Daydreams” 1941 oil on canvas
Warrenton Alice Dineen “North Carolina Pastoral” 1938 oil on canvas
Weldon Jean de Marco “Early Childhood ofVirginia Dare” 1940 plaster relief
Whiteville (moved to the lobby of the Auditorium on the campus of South East Community College in Whiteville) Roy Schatt “Harvesting Tobacco” 1941 tempera
Williamston Philip von Saltza “First Flight of the Wright Brothers at Kitty Hawk” 1940 oil on canvas
Wilmington Thomas G. Lo Medico “History and Present Day Themes Relating to Wilmington and Its Surroundings” 1937 plaster reliefs (7)
Wilmington William F. Pfohl “Port of Wilmington” 1940 oil on canvas


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

The New Deal at Work in Mooresville - a comprehensive website on the progress and projects in Mooresville, NC, hosted by Cindy Jacobs.