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New Deal WPA Art in Oregon

Post Office Artwork in Oregon - 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
Burns Jack Wilkinson “Cattle Roundup” 1941 oil on canvas
Eugene Carl Morris “Willamette Valley Lumber, Farming and Husbandry” 1943 oil on canvas
Grants Pass Louis DeMott Bunce “Rogue River Indians” 1938 tempera
Grants Pass Eric Lamade “Early and Contemporary Industries” 1938 tempera
Newberg Rockwell Carey “Early Mail Carriers of the West” 1937 oil on canvas
Ontario Edmond J. Fitzgerald “Trail to Oregon” 1938 oil on canvas
Portland,
East Portland Branch
Paul Grellert “Post Rider” 1936 mural
Saint Johns John Ballator (Eric Lamade and Louis DeMott Bunce, assistants) “Development of St. Johns” and composite of activities significant in the development of the area 1936 north wall (funded by Section),
south wall (funded by TRAP)
Salem Andrew McD. Vincent “Builders of Salem” 1942 oil on canvas
Tillamook Lucia Wiley “Captain Gray Entering Tillamook Bay” 1943 fresco secco

 

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


Mt. Hood, Oregon Timberline Lodge,
There is a video available about Timberline Lodge: “The Builders of Timberline” (1986) Director: Jim Swenson. Mt. Hood’s Timberline Lodge remains the crown jewel of the WPA legacy in Oregon, an architectural and artistic landmark. Using vintage construction footage and photographs, interviews with craftsmen and project organizers, and present-day views, Swenson weaves a moving portrait of the people and times that built this lasting treasure. (30 minutes) (contact Friends of Timberline Lodge)

Pendleton, Oregon
There is a video entitled “Restoring C.S. Price” (1990) produced by students at the Pendleton High School with artist-in-residence Larry Johnson as part of the Northwest Film Center’s Young Filmmakers Program. “Restoring C.S. Price” examines the life and work of one of Oregon’s most important painters. In addition to celebrating Price’s legacy, the film traces the restoration of two of Price’s WPA murals, painted in the 1930s that hang in the high school. (25 minutes) (Contact the Oregon Cultural Heritage Commission at: encanto@ochcom.org)