New Deal WPA Art in Wisconsin
Post Office Artwork in Wisconsin – 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
Beaver Dam, WI -Beaver Dam High School murals are attributed to Myron Nutting (see Ray Py article about Wauwatosa)
Madison, WI - The murals in the Paul Bunyan Room in the Wisconsin Student Union in Madison, WI were done by James Watrous funded by the PWAP.
Milwaukee, WI The Natural History Museum murals in Milwaukee are attributed to Myron Nutting (see Ray Py article about Wauwatosa)
The Parklawn Housing Project was built by the WPA. Part of the philosophy was to incorporate art with mixed income families. There are two sculptures still extant done by WPA artists in the central park area of Parklawn.
Racine, WI – The Mitchell School library in Racine, Wisconsin had a series of 5 mural panels done by Santos Zingale under the WPA. These murals are currently in storage. They were removed in the 1950s when the school library was remodeled. They lie in darkness, waiting to be restored!
Wauwatosa, WI – The Wauwatosa, WI High School (now Wauwatosa East High School) murals done by the WPA, were recently restored. Raymond Py, art historian, has published an article,”Unknown Wauwatosa High School Mural Artist was “Lost Generation” Painter of James Joyce Portraits,” about his research into the origins of these murals, now attributed to WPA artist, Myron Nutting.
Unless indicated, works of art are located in the US Post Office building.
|Berlin||Raymond Redell||“Gathering Cranberries”||1938||oil on canvas|
|Black River Ralls||Frank E. Buffmire||“Lumbering – Black River Mill”||1939||oil on canvas|
|Chilton||Charles W. Thwaites||“Threshing Barley”||1940||tempera|
|Columbus||Arnold Blanch||“One Hundredth Anniversary”||1940||oil on canvas|
|DePere||Lester W. Bentley||“The Red Pieta,”
“Nicholas Perrot,” and “Give Us This Day”
|Edgerton||Vladimir Rousseff||“Tobacco Harvest”||1941||oil on canvas|
|Elkhorn||Tom Rost||“Pioneer Postman”||1938||oil on canvas|
|Fond du Lac||Boris Gilbertson||“Birds and Animals of the Northwest”||1937||eleven limestone reliefs|
|Hartford||Ethel Spears||“Autumn Wisconsin Landscape”||1940||oil on canvas|
|Hayward||Stella E. Harlos||“The Land of Woods and Lakes”||1942||oil on canvas|
|Hudson||Ruth Grotenrath||“Unloading a River Barge”||1943||tempera|
|Janesville||Boris Gilbertson||“Wild Ducks”||1940||aluminum, four panels|
|Kaukauna||Vladimir Rousseff||“A. Grignon Trading with the Indians”||1938||oil on canvas|
|Kewaunee||Paul Faulkner||“Winter Sports”||1940||fresco|
|Ladysmith||Elsa Jemne||“Development of
|1938||tempera (painted over)|
|Lake Geneva||George A. Dietrich||“Winter Landscape”||1940||oil on canvas|
|Lancaster||Tom Rost||“Farm Yard”||1940||oil on canvas|
|Mayville||Peter Rotier||“Wisconsin Rural Scene”||1940||oil on canvas|
West Allis Branch
|Frances Foy||“Wisconsin Wild Flowers – Spring” and “Wisconsin Wild Flowers – Autumn”||1943||mural|
|Neilsville||John Van Koert||“The Choosing of the County Seat”||1940||tempera|
|Oconomowoc||Edward Morton||“Winter Sports” and “Rabbit Hunters”||1938||oil on canvas (in storage)|
|Park Falls||James S. Watrous||“Lumberjack Fight on the Flambeau River”||1938||tempera|
|Plymouth||Charles W. Thwaites||“Making Cheese”||1942||tempera|
|Prairie du Chien||Jefferson E. Greer||“Discovery of Northern Waters of the Mississippi”||1938||plaster relief|
|Reedsburg||Richard Jansen||“Dairy Farming”||1940||oil on canvas|
|Rice Lake||Forrest Flower||“Rural Deliver”||1938||oil on canvas|
|Richland Center||Ricard Brooks||“Decorative Interpretation of Unification of America through the Post”||1937||oil on canvas|
|Shawano||Eugene Higgins||“The First Settlers”||1939||oil on canvas|
|Sheboygan||Schomer Lichtner||“The Lake,” “The Pioneer,” “Present City,” “Indian Life,” and “Agriculture”||1939||mural (funded by TRAP)|
|Stoughton||Edmund D. Lewandowski||“Air Mail Service”||1940||oil on canvas|
|Sturgeon Bay||Santos Zingale||“Fruits of Sturgeon Bay”||1940||egg tempera|
|Viroqua||Forrest Flower||“War Party”||1942||oil on canvas|
|Waupauca||Raymond Redell||“Wisconsin Countryside”||1940||oil on canvas|
|Wausau||Gerrit Sinclair||“Lumbering” and “Rural Mail”||1940||tempera|
|West Bend||Peter Rotier||“The Rural Mail Carrier”||1937||oil on canvas|
All mural images depicted on this site are used with permission of the United States Postal Service. All rights reserved.