Birch Bayh Federal Building Murals – Indianapolis IN


“Mail, Transportation and Delivery” and “Early Present Day Indianapolis Life” are two sets of murals painted by Grant Christian in 1935-6 with funding from the Treasury Relief Art Project. The artwork, which is not accessible to the general public, consists of multiple vertical panels. The medium is oil on canvas.

U.S. Courts Visitors’ Guide:

“In 1935, Grant Christian, a 24-year old graduate of the Herron School of Art in Indianapolis, won a competition run by the Treasury Relief Art Project, a Depression-era program, to produce murals for the Court House. Located in the southwest corner of the third floor, the panels on the south wall are collectively titled “Mail, Transportation and Delivery.” From left to right, the individual panels are titled “The Capital’s First Railroad,” “Transportation and Communication,” and “Industry and Legislation.” The last panel shows Indiana Governor Paul V. McNutt (with document) and Indianapolis Mayor John W. Kern (behind the Governor) who were in office when Mr. Christian painted the murals. At the upper right of this panel, over the sleek modern train, is a depiction of the Indiana State House dome.”

“The murals at the northwest and northeast corners are titled “Early and Present Day Indianapolis Life.” The northeast murals depict progressive stages in the history of Indianapolis’ development from the frontier to the beginnings of urban life. From left to right, the individual panels are titled “Marion County Pioneers,” “Clearing and Building,” and “Backwoods Indianapolis.” Opposite these murals, in the northwest corner of the vestibule, are panels titled, from left to right, “Culture and Education,” “Safety Patrol,” and “To Those Who Served.” “

Source notes

A Simple and Vital Design: The Story of the Indiana Post Office Murals by John C. Carlisle

Project originally submitted by Indiana Division of Historic Preservation/Nicole Cory on July 2, 2014.
Additional contributions by Evan Kalish.

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Location Info

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46 E. Ohio Street
Indianapolis, IN 46204

Coordinates: 39.770376, -86.157080

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