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New Deal WPA Art in Rhode Island

Post Office Artwork in Rhode Island – 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
Apponaug Paul Sample “Apponaug Fishermen” 1942 oil on canvas
East Providence Eugene Kingman “The Hurricane,” “Seeconk River,” “East Providence,” “The Map,” and “After the Storm” 1939 oil on the wall
Providence P.O. Annex Raymond Barger “After the Storm,” “Eagle,” “Transportation,” and “Distribution of the Mail” 1940 stone
Wakefield (now in the Pettaquanscutt Historical Society) Ernest Hamlin Baker “Activities of the Narragansett Planters” 1940 oil on canvas

 

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

Hoxsie – Lakeside Sanitarium – WPA project (from “Federal Art in New England”)

Kingstown – Rhode Island State College – WPA project (from “Federal Art in New England”)

Providence:
Public Library - WPA project (from “Federal Art in New England”)
Providence Tuberculosis League - WPA project (from “Federal Art in New England”.