Post office mural from Oxford, New York

UPDATE: The artist of the P.O. mural pictured below is Mordi Gassner. The title is “Family Reunion on Clark Island, Spring 1791.” Tempura, 1941.

With the Post Office in a world of financial hurt, it’s no surprise that it is starting to sell off buildings.

Some of those buildings however house public art. From the WSJ:

Between 1934 and 1943, hundreds of U.S. post offices were adorned with murals and sculptures produced under the Treasury Department’s Section of Painting and Sculpture, later called the Section of Fine Arts. Unlike other federally funded arts programs at the time, this initiative was not meant to provide jobs but “was intended to help boost the morale of people suffering the effects of the Great Depression” through art, according to postal officials.

Yeah, those murals. Like the one in the P.O. in Oxford, New York, where I grew up.

It made a very vivid impression on me as a kid. I can remember waiting while my mom or dad mailed letters or bought stamps and staring at that picture. It was so big, so dark; I thought it was magnificent but also a little creepy.

A few years ago I took some pictures of it, and I’m glad I did . . . here they are.

1941 Mordi Gassner Mural Oxford New York post office

Mural from the Oxford, New York Post Office.

Detail, 1941 Mordi Gassner Mural Oxford New York post office

Pioneers greeting and shaking hands: the central tableau of the mural. Those pioneer women sure were muscular ;-)

Detail, 1941 Mordi Gassner Mural Oxford New York post office

The thing that most fascinated me about the mural when I was a kid was the white ox's eye. I thought it looked human. What I notice now is that the man with the oxen and barge is entering the scene . . .

Detail 1941 Mordi Gassner Mural Oxford New York post office

. . . while the Native Americans on the far left hand side of the mural paddle away.

I would love to know who painted it . . . have posted the pics to my Facebook page as well, so maybe somebody there will chip in with some more information.

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