Tuesday, March 03, 2009

Exhibit features Post Office Murals

The Philadelphia Inquirer reports, "To mark the 75th anniversary of the New Deal, the State Museum of Pennsylvania has mounted an exhibit focusing on one of the many federal art programs launched at the time. Administered by the U.S. Treasury, it brought great art directly to the people at the nexus of their communities: the post office."

Amy Worden of the Harrisburg Bureau writes, "A Common Canvas: Pennsylvania's New Deal Post Office Murals," uses dozens of high-quality photographs to trace the extraordinary stories of murals and sculptures by artists - some world-famous, others unknown - that adorn post offices from Ambler to Aliquippa."

According to Worden, "Of the 94 murals or sculptures commissioned in Pennsylvania - second only to New York - 88 remain, most in their original locations."

To read the entire article, click here.

In another article that appeared on the Inquirer Web site, Worden says, "A dispute over the rights to the images of the historic post office murals almost forced the State Museum of Pennsylvania to pull the plug on the "Common Canvas" exhibit."

Worden says in 2007, the museum informed the U.S. Postal Service that it would mount an exhibit featuring high-quality photographs of the New Deal-era murals of Pennsylvania and touched off a skirmish between the Postal Service and the state over whether the artwork is in the public domain.

Shown above, "Freeland," a 1938 mural by John F. Folinsbee at the Freeland Post Office.
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posted by Don Schilling at 12:01 AM