Lost New Deal Murals Returned in Modesto

Modesto P.O. mural

1936 Ray Boynton mural recovered

An unexpected benefit from the recent sale of the old Modesto P.O. is that a story about the sale and missing murals in the Modesto Bee triggered the memory of a reader who recalled seeing two such artworks in a family storage room.  The murals had been bought by his brother-in-law, the architect on a 1960s rehab of the New Deal era buildings. “This fellow who bought and kept the murals deserves our thanks!” stressed Barbara Bernstein for New Deal Art Registry, an organization dedicated to preserving public art created during the 1930s and 1940s. “Many post office murals were just destroyed or thrown away, but thanks to him the public now has these back.”  When federal buildings were remodeled during the 1950s and 1960s, Bernstein said, “A lot of art was lost through sheer ignorance because many people didn’t think it was worth saving.”

Richard A Walker is the director of the Living New Deal.

One comment on “Lost New Deal Murals Returned in Modesto

  1. All these murals are magnificent. I hope that more of them would be recovered in the future so that the audience would be able to admire them.

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