The most ubiquitous of New Deal artworks are over 3,000 murals painted for U.S. Post Offices around the country.
Some were installed in newly-built POs and some in older buildings. All were commissioned by the Treasury Section of Fine Arts. Most were painted by local artists and feature scenes from local history. Some are brilliant, some look dated now, but all of them have offered millions of Americans a moment of pleasure while doing their postal business.
Many postal murals are threatened by neglect or privatization of post offices; some have disappeared entirely. A few can offend present-day sensibilities, but we should not be hasty in condemning what are often accurate representations of this country’s shared, if difficult, history of slavery and conquest; and some artists included subtle criticisms of conventional ideas of the time.
Postlandia obtained a complete list of active postal facilities via Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request. The list included 30,986 entries total. Evan Kalish of Postlandia has visited and documented more than 10,000 post offices throughout the country.
Post Office Fans
Post Office Fans has been dedicated to celebrating our nation’s post offices through articles, photos, and videos for twenty years.