Post Office Section Art, statewide
Multiple Locations [map this location]
Photo by Harland Schuster for KSF.
Hutchinson Post Office. Photo by Harland Schuster for KSF.
Hoisington Post Office. Photo by Harland Schuster for KSF.
Kingman Post Office. Photo by Harland Schuster for KSF.
Close up of mural in Seneca Post Office. Photo by Harland Schuster for KSF.
Horton Post Office Section Art. Photo KSF.
Section Art is an 8 Wonders of Kansas Art finalist because of its
purpose. Artists were paid before and after the depression by the
federal government to decorate public buildings, like post offices.
Sabetha Post Office mural. Photo by Harland Schuster for KSF.
Throughout the United States - on post office walls large and small - are scenes reflecting America's history and way of life. Post offices built in the 1930s during Roosevelt's New Deal were decorated with enduring images of the "American scene."
Source: From "Articles from EnRoute: Off the Wall: New Deal Post Office Murals" by Patricia Raynor
Many post office murals have vanished over the years. Others are in need of repair. In Kansas twenty-nine murals and sculptures were commissioned. Twenty-one still remain in active post offices. The subject of each painting is almost always based on the local history or economy of the community. The vibrant colors and stirring action in each tell a unique story.
The following are Kansas post offices that still have their Section Art:
Anthony: Turning a Corner by artist Joe Jones, 1939, oil on canvas
Augusta: A Kansas Gusher by artist Donald Silks, 1940, oil on canvas
Belleville: Kansas Stream by Birger Sandzen, 1939, oil on canvas
Burlington: Boy and Colt by Robert Kittredge, 1942, stone
Caldwell: Cowboys Driving Cattle by Kenneth Evett, 1941, tempera
Council Grove: Autumn Colors by Charles B. Rogers, 1941, oil on canvas (partly covered)
Eureka: Cattle Roundup by Vance Kirkland, 1938, oil on canvas
Fredonia: Delivery of Mail to the Farm by Lenore Thomas, 1939, glazed terra cotta
Goodland: Rural Free Delivery by Kenneth M. Adams, 1937, oil on canvas
Halstead: Where Kit Carson Camped by Birger Sandzen, 1941, oil on canvas
Herington: Arrival of the First Train in Herington - 1885 by H. Louis Freund, 1937, oil on canvas
Hoisington: Wheat Center by Dorothea Tomlinson, 1938, oil on canvas
Horton: Picnic in Kansas and Changing Horses for the Pony Express by Kenneth Evett, 1939, oil on canvas
Hutchinson: Threshing in Kansas by Lumen Martin Winter, 1942, mural
Kingman: In the Days of the Cattlemen's Picnic by Jessie S. Wilbur, 1942, tempera
Lindsborg: Smoky River by Birger Sandzen, 1938, oil on canvas
Neodesha: Neodesha's First Inhabitants by Bernard J. Steffen, 1938, oil on wood
Oswego: Farm Life by Robert E. Larter, 1940, oil on canvas
Russell: Wheat Workers by Martyl Schweig, 1940, oil on canvas
Sabetha: The Hare and the Tortoise by Albert T. Reid, 1937, oil on canvas
Seneca: Men and Wheat by Joe Jones, 1940, oil on canvas
CHANGE IN STATUS
Columbus: R.F.D. by Waylande Gregory, 1940, sand sculpture. The sculpture has been moved from the post office and is now inside the community building at 320 E. Maple.
Fort Scott: Border Gateways by Oscar E. Berninghaus, 1937, oil on canvas. The post office still has the mural but it's not publicly accessible. They will show it to anyone that asks.
Olathe: The Mail Must Go Through
by Albert T. Reid, 1940, oil on canvas. The mural hangs in a public area in the Olathe Public Library at 201 E. Park.
Salina: Land and Communication by Carl C. Mose, 1940, sculptures. Now located on the outside of the Smoky Hill Museum, 211 W. Iron, the former post office building.
Wichita: Kansas Farming by Richard Haines, 1936, oil on canvas and Pioneer in Kansas by Ward Lockwood, 1936, oil on canvas. The post office building is now the Federal Courthouse at 401 N. Market Street. The murals are still in the lobby.
Source for cities, name of art, artist, year, and type of medium: http://www.wpamurals.com/kansas.htm
Another excellent site that shows pictures of each is:http://freepages.genealogy.rootsweb.ancestry.com/~mogeneal/wpa/kspo.htm
Confirmation and updates on status: Kansas Sampler Foundation 2008