By L. Robert Puschendorf
As a part of the New Deal that offered hope during the Great Depression, scores of public art projects were commissioned around the country. Now they are among the most enduring visual legacies of that era. Twelve Nebraska post offices were chosen to receive individualized murals from the program. Nebraska's Post Office Murals: Born of the Depression, Fostered by the New Deal is a new book from the Nebraska State Historical Society that presents the story of these valuable historical pieces.
Richly illustrated with color fold-outs and never-before-published artists' sketches, the book reveals the personalities, conflicts, and spirit of the times from which the art emerged. Each of the artists commissioned to paint the murals had a background story. Author Robert Puschendorf, NSHS associate director and the deputy state historic preservation officer, follows the journey of each mural to its completion.
On the cover: a section of the mural commissioned for the Auburn post office. Artist Ethel Magafan depicts stages of the threshing process for hay
Read an excerpt here. The file is a 10MB PDF. If you can't open it, download Adobe Reader (free software).
$29.95 / NSHS Members $26.95
(plus tax and shipping)
Hardcover (10" x 8"), 120 pages
Available at NSHS Landmark Stores . To order, visit nebraskahistory.org/murals, or call 402-471-3447.
"Across Nebraska, small town post offices still house gems of regional art. This book brings these murals to a larger audience. This is a fascinating and enlightening exploration of a beauty in the midst of hard times." --Bill Ganzel, author of Dust Bowl Descent
"Robert Puschendorf digs deeply into the layers of this nation's first government art patronage program, exploring its origins and its evolution during the Great Depression. Through the political and bureaucratic morass, he diligently uncovers within the state's WPA-built post offices, a rich Nebraska legacy of regional art murals." --Sharon Kennedy, Curator of Cultural and Civic Engagement, Sheldon Museum of Art
Publication of this book was made possible by James C. and Rhonda Seacrest, Lincoln, Nebraska.