Sunday, December 7, 2008

Starving Artists - Past and Present

My oldest daughter said that I should put some of my more esoteric knowledge to work on my blog. So here we go:

President-elect Obama has said that he is planning vast public works projects for the unemployed and underemployed. Well I suggest he take a look at the past public works projects, especially the Great Depression era WPA fine arts projects. Employ those out of work writers, artists, actors and dancers in something useful. Especially the artists.

The WPA put over 5,000 artists to work on posters for safety and health programs, cultural programs including art exhibitions, theatrical, and musical performances; travel and tourism; educational programs; and community activities. But, most importantly it put them to work on murals reflecting American life past and present.

Where did a lot of these murals appear? Why the good old United States Port Office! They produced 1,200 murals and 300 sculptures for Post Office facilities between 1934 and 1943. About 1,000 murals and 200 sculptures remain in postal facilities today. Nice!

Just two examples of their Post Office work:

Luray, VA Post Office
"Luray - 1840" - oil on canvas
by Sheffield Kagy (1939)

Saint Helena, CA Post Office
“Grape Pickers” - oil on canvas
by Lew Keller (1942)

I am for anything that will make our modern Post Office’s a little more art friendly. It’s time to get all those U.S. Post Office posters off the walls and get some good old American art out there. So Mr. President-elect how about a new Fine Arts projects for the United States Post Office. Let’s put America’s out-of-work (if they are any) to work! Find those young starving artists just out of High School, College and Art School - put them to work beautifying America. There are two modren style Post Offices in Virginia Beach that sure could use some nice modren art work. . .

1 comment:

avm0525 said...

Excellent! Love the examples.