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Wrangell, Alaska New Deal Art

New Deal/WPA Art in Wrangell, Alaska



Post Office New Deal 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

Photographs courtesy of the Library of Congress American Memories Exhibit.

Thanks to Trisha Neal who found the above black & white photographs from the Library of Congress, American Memories on-line exhibit.



The Wrangell, Alaska Post Office today:

Austin Mecklem and Marianne Appel (husband and wife) painted the Wrangell mural in 1943 in NY state. It was shipped via railway on Oct 19, 1943 and arrived in Wrangell AK early December 1943. A telegram dated Octboer 20, 1944 stated the Mr. Arnold Prusi installed the mural the previous week. Information courtesy of Jimmy Emerson

Photographs taken by the Supervisor of the Wrangell, Alaska Post Office