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New Deal WPA Art in Washington

Post Office Artwork in Washington – 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
Anacortes Kenneth Callahan “Halibut Fishing” 1940 oil on canvas
Bremerton Ernest Norling “Northwest Logging” 1938 oil on canvas
Camas Douglas Nicholson “Beginning of a New World” 1941 tempera
Centralia Kenneth Callahan “Industries of Lewis County” 1938 oil on canvas
Clarkston Donlon P. McGovern “Lewis and Clark” 1940 wood relief
Colville Edmond J. Fitzgerald “Hudson’s Bay – The Pathfinder” 1939 oil on canvas
Kelso David McCosh “Incidents in the Lives of Lewis and Clark” 1938 oil on canvas
Kent Zygmund Sazevich “From Far Away” 1941 three wood reliefs
Lynden Mordi Gassner “Three Ages of Phoebe Goodell Judson” 1942 oil on canvas
Mount Vernon (now in
Skagit Valley College)
Ambrose Patterson “Local Pursuits” 1938 oil on canvas
Prosser Ernest Notling “Mail Train in the 80′s” 1937 oil on canvas
Renton (now in the Renton Public Library, Highlands Branch) Jacob Elshin “Miners at Work” 1939 oil on canvas
Seattle -
University Station
Jacob Elshin “Historical Review of Education” and “Present Day Education” 1939 oil on canvas
Sedro-Wooley Albert C. Runquist “Loggers and Millworkers” 1941 oil on canvas
Shelton Richard Haines “Skid Row” 1940 tempera
Snohomish Lance W. Hart “Construction of a Skid Road in the 80′s” 1940 oil on canvas
Toppenish Andrew McD. Vincent “Local Theme” 1940 oil on canvas
Wenatchee (now used as the Wenatchee Valley Museum Peggy Strong “The Saga of Wenatchee” 1940 oil on canvas – five panels

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


Alki Elementary School
3010 59th Ave SW, Seattle, WA 98116 phone: (206) 252-9050
There is a 10-foot-by-3-foot cedar wood carving depicting the arrival of Seattle’s white pioneers done by Marion “Ivan” Kelez under the PWAP. Currently being restored.