Pin It

Home » Washington D.C. » New Deal WPA Art in Washington, D.C.

New Deal WPA Art in Washington, D.C.

Washington, D.C. Post Office Artwork – 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

Location Artist Title Date Medium
Department of Health and Human Services (formerly Social Security) Richard Barthe “American Eagle” 1940 sculpture
Department of Health and Human Services (formerly Social Security) Emma Lou Davis “Family Group” and “Unemployment Compensation” 1941 sculpture
Department of Health and Human Services (formerly Social Security) (now stored in National Museum of American Art) Dorothy and Fred Farr “Sports Related to Food” 1942 mural
Department of Health and Human Services (formerly Social Security) Seymour Fogel “Wealth of the Nation” and “Security of the People” 1942 mural
Department of Health and Human Services (formerly Social Security) (now stored in National Museum of American Art) Gertrude Goodrich activities of four parts of the country (around four walls of the cafeteria) 1943 mural
Department of Health and Human Services (formerly Social Security) Philip Guston “Reconstruction and Well-Being of the Family” 1942 stage curtain in auditorium
Department of Health and Human Services (formerly Social Security) Robert Kittredge “Railroad Employment” and “Railroad Retirement” 1941 sculpture
Department of Health and Human Services (formerly Social Security) Henry Kreis “The Growth of Social Security” and “The Benefits of Social Security” 1941 sculpture
Department of Health and Human Services (formerly Social Security) Jenne and Ethel Magafan “Mountains in Snow” 1949 mural
Department of Health and Human Services (formerly Social Security) Ben Shahn “The Meaning of Social Security” (west wall -”Work, the Family, and Social Security”; east wall – “Child Labor, Unemployment, and Old Age”) 1942 fresco
Department of Interior James Auchiah “Dance Festival” 1939 mural
Department of Interior Gifford Beal “Conservation of the National Parks” 1941 mural
Department of Interior Louis Bouche “Conservation – Western Lands” 1938 mural
(in storage)
Department of Interior Edgar Britton “Production and Refining” and “Distribution and Use” 1939 mural
Department of Interior Nicolai Cikovsky “Desert,” “Irrigation,” “Gathering Dates,” and “Apples” 1938 mural
Department of Interior Woodrow Crumbo “Deer,” “Peyote Bird and Symbols,” “Stealing Horses,” “Flute Player,” “Courting,” and “Buffalo Hunt” 1940 mural
Department of Interior John Steuart Curry “Rush for the Oklahoma Land – 1889″ and “The Homesteading” 1939 mural
Department of Interior Maynard Dixon “Bureau of Indian Affairs” 1939 mural
Department of Interior Ernest Fiene “Placer Mining,” “Fighting Forest Fire,” and “Winter Round-Up” 1938 mural
Department of Interior Boris Gilbertson “American Moose” and “American Bison” 1940 sculpture
Department of Interior William Gropper “Construction of the Dam” 1939 mural
Department of Interior Velino Herrera Indian themes,
nine panels
1939 mural
Department of Interior Allan C. Houser “Singing Love Songs” and “Apache Round Dance” 1940 mural
Department of Interior Allan C. Houser and Gerald Nailor “Indian Murals” no date mural
Department of Interior David McCosh “National Parks”
two panels
1940 mural
Department of Interior Stevan Mopope “Indian Theme” 1939 mural
Department of Interior Gerald Nailor “Hunting Ground” and “Initiation Ceremony” 1940 mural
Department of Interior James Michael Newell “Alaska” and “Insular Possessions” 1939 mural
Department of Interior Henry Varnum Poor “Conservation of Wild Life” 1939 fresco
Department of Interior Millard Sheets “The Negro’s Contribution in the Social and Cultural Development of America” – four panels 1943 mural
Department of Interior Louis Slobodkin “Abe Lincoln” 1940 sculpture
Department of Interior Ralph Stackpole “Powell Exploring the Grand Canyon” 1940 sculpture
Department of Interior Heinz Warnecke “Lewis and Clark” 1939 sculpture
Department of Justice John Ballator “Contemporary Justice and Man” 1937 tempera
Department of Justice George Biddle “Society Freed through Justice” 1936 fresco
Department of Justice Emil Bisttram “Contemporary Justice and Woman” 1939 oil on canvas
Department of Justice Louis Bouche “Activities of the Department of Justice” 1937 oil on canvas
Department of Justice John Steuart Curry “Movement of the Population Westward” and “Law Versus Mob Rule” 1937 oil on canvas
Department of Justice Leon Kroll “The Triumph of Justice” and “The Defeat of Justice” 1937 oil on canvas
Department of Justice Henry Varnum Poor “Justice Department Bureaus and Divisions” 1936 fresco
Department of Justice Boardman Robinson “Great Events and Figures of Law” 1938 tempera
Department of Justice Symeon Shimin “Contemporary Justice – the Child” 1940 tempera
Department of Justice Maurice Sterne “Man’s Struggle for Justice” – twenty panels 1941 oil on board
Customs and Immigration (formerly Department of Labor) Charles Trumbo Henry “Construction, Power and Transportation” 1938 oil on canvas
Federal Trade Commission (formerly Apex) Chaim Gross “Construction” 1938 limestone relief
Federal Trade Commission (formerly Apex) Michael Lantz “Man Controlling Trade” – two colossal groups 1942 limestone
Federal Trade Commission (formerly Apex) Robert Laurent “Shipping” 1938 limestone relief
Federal Trade Commission (formerly Apex) William McVey illustrations of the progress of maritime facilities 1937 aluminum grilles
Federal Trade Commission (formerly Apex) Concetta Scaravaglione “Agriculture” 1938 limestone relief
Federal Trade Commission (formerly Apex) Carl L. Schmitz “Foreign Trade” 1938 limestone relief
Federal Trade Commission (formerly Apex) Sidney Waugh “American Eagles” 1938 limestone relief
Government Printing Office (Annex) Elliott Means “Men Stacking Paper Stock” and “Printing Press Activities” 1937 sculpture
Government Printing Office (Annex) Armin A. Scheler Government Printing Office Seal, laurel, and eagle, over main entrance 1937 concrete reliefs
Home Owners Loan Corporation Albert Stewart “The Building Trades” (seven reliefs) and “Activities of the Federal Home Loan Bank Board” 1936 sculpture
National Zoological Park Elizabeth Fulda decorative plates for bird cages 1937 relief
National Zoological Park Charles R. Knight “Pre-Historic Animals” 1937 sculpture
National Zoological Park Domenico Mortellito “Noah’s Ark” 1940 mural
National Zoological Park Domenico Mortellito habitat backgrounds in cages in Bird and Pachyderm Houses 1937 mural
National Zoological Park Erwin Springweiler anteater 1937 sculpture
National Zoological Park Heinz Warneke “Tumbling Bears” 1938 sculpture
Environmental Protection Agency
(formerly Post Office Department Building)*
Alexander Brook “Writing the Family Letter” and “Reading the Family Letter” 1939 oil on canvas
Environmental Protection Agency
(formerly Post Office Department Building)*
A. Stirling Calder “Post Rider Continental – 1775-1789″ 1936 aluminum
Federal Building (formerly Post Office Department Building)* Gaetano Cecere “Rural Free Delivery” 1936 aluminum
Environmental Protection Agency
(formerly Post Office Department Building)*
Alfred D. Crimi “Post Office Work Room” and “Transportation of the Mail” 1937 fresco
Environmental Protection Agency
(formerly Post Office Department Building)*
Gleb Derujinsky “Portraits of Eight Former Postmaster Generals” 1937 carved wood medallions
Environmental Protection Agency
(formerly Post Office Department Building)*
Karl Free “Arrival of Mail in New Amsterdam” 1938 oil on canvas
Environmental Protection Agency
(formerly Post Office Department Building)*
Chaim Gross “Alaska Snowshoe Carrier” 1936 aluminum
Environmental Protection Agency
(formerly Post Office Department Building)*
George Harding “Franklin Signing Post Receipt Book” and “Dispatch Riders in Revolutionary War” 1938 tempera
Environmental Protection Agency
(formerly Post Office Department Building)*
Rockwell Kent “Delivery of Mail in the Arctic Zone” and “Delivery of Mail in the Tropics” 1937 mural
Environmental Protection Agency
(formerly Post Office Department Building)*
Vahe Kirishjian “The Four Seasons” 1940 oil on canvas
Environmental Protection Agency
(formerly Post Office Department Building)*
Vahe Kirishjian “The Signs of the Zodiac” 1940 oil on plaster
Environmental Protection Agency
(formerly Post Office Department Building)*
Tom Lea “The Nesters” 1937 mural (destroyed)
Environmental Protection Agency
(formerly Post Office Department Building)*
Arthur Lee “Pony Express – 1850-1858″ 1937 aluminum
Environmental Protection Agency
(formerly Post Office Department Building)*
Doris Lee “Country Post” and “General Store and Post Office” 1938 mural
Environmental Protection Agency
(formerly Post Office Department Building)*
Ward Lockwood “Opening of the West” and “Settling of the West” 1937 fresco
Environmental Protection Agency
(formerly Post Office Department Building)*
Oronzio Maldarelli “Air Mail” 1936 aluminum
Environmental Protection Agency
(formerly Post Office Department Building)*
(On loan to Postal Service Training Academy, Potomac, MD)
Paul Manship “Statue of Samuel Osgood, First Postmaster General” 1937 marble
Environmental Protection Agency
(formerly Post Office Department Building)*
Berta Margoulies “Postman, 1691-1775″ 1936 aluminum
Environmental Protection Agency
(formerly Post Office Department Building)*
Reginald Marsh “Assorting the Mail” and “Transportation of the Mail from Ocean Liner to Tug Boat” 1936 fresco
Environmental Protection Agency
(formerly Post Office Department Building)*
Frank Mechau “Dangers of the Mail” and “Pony Express” 1937 mural
Environmental Protection Agency
(formerly Post Office Department Building)*
William C. Palmer “Stage Coach Attached by Bandits” and “Covered Wagon Attacked by Indians” 1937 tempera
Environmental Protection Agency
(formerly Post Office Department Building)*
Attilio Piccirilli “Present Day Postman” 1937 aluminum
Environmental Protection Agency
(formerly Post Office Department Building)*
Eugene Savage “Carrier of News and Knowledge” and “Messenger of Sympathy and Love” 1937 mural
Environmental Protection Agency
(formerly Post Office Department Building)*
Concetta Scaravaglione “Railway Mail – 1862″ 1936 aluminum
Environmental Protection Agency
(formerly Post Office Department Building)*
Carl L. Schmitz “City Delivery Carrier” 1936 aluminum
Environmental Protection Agency
(formerly Post Office Department Building)*
Louis Slobodkin “Tropical Postman” 1936 aluminum
Environmental Protection Agency
(formerly Post Office Department Building)*
Heinz Warneke “Express Man” 1936 aluminum
Environmental Protection Agency
(formerly Post Office Department Building)*
Sidney Waugh “Stage Driver, 1789-1836″ 1936 aluminum
Environmental Protection Agency
(formerly Post Office Department Building)*
William Zorach “Benjamin Franklin, the First Colonial Postmaster” 1937 marble
Recorder of Deeds Herschel Levit “Crispus Attucks” 1943 mural
Recorder of Deeds Carlos Lopez “The Death of Colonel Shaw at Fort Wagner” 1943 mural
Recorder of Deeds Ethel Magafan “The Battle of New Orleans” 1943 mural
Recorder of Deeds Austin Mecklem “Matthew Henson Planting the American Flag at the North Pole” 1943 murals
Recorder of Deeds Martyl Schweig “Cyrus Tiffany in the Battle of Lake Erie” 1943 mural
Recorder of Deeds William Edouard Scott “Frederick Douglass Appeals to President Lincoln” 1943 mural
Recorder of Deeds Maxine Seelbinder “Benjamin Banneker” 1943 mural
National Capitol Region Office Building, General Services Administration (formerly Procurement Division Building) Harold Weston various stages in construction of Treasury Buildings and Procurement Division Activities, twenty-two panels 1936-
1938
oil on canvas
(funded by TRAP)
State Department Building (formerly War Department) Henry Kreis eagle, over entrance 1942 sculpture
State Department Building (formerly War Department) Henry Kreis “Soldier Groups” 1942 sculpture
State Department Building (formerly War Department) Kindred McLeary “Defense of the Four Freedoms” 1941 lime casein on plaster
State Department Building (formerly War Department) Jean de Marco “Peaceful Pursuits of American Life” 1942 plaster
(in storage)
State Department Building (formerly War Department) Earl N. Thorp “War” and “Peace” 1941 sculpture

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


 

The Mount Pleasant branch of the Washington, D.C. Public Library has a mural painted by Aurelius Battaglia under the Public Works of Art Project (PWAP) - information courtesy of Mara Cherkasky, Cultural Tourism DC

National Zoo – “At the National Zoo, Washington, DC, there are two lovely aluminum castings, by Domenico Mortellito, identified there as having been sponsored by the WPA, and which are located in the Small Mammal House. They illustrate two scenes from “The Pied Piper of Hamelin” by Robert Browning. The first of the two illustrates the Pied Piper leading the rats out of the town; the second shows him leading the children out of the town.” information contributed by Jack Manischewitz.