Detail of "Ben Franklin, Colonial Postmaster"
The Clinton Federal Building (north) was originally the US Post Office Department headquarters, completed under the New Deal in 1934. It contains a wealth of New Deal artworks commissioned and paid for by the Treasury Section of Fine Arts – 25 murals and 22 sculptural elements (12 bas-reliefs, 2 statues, 8 wood medallions) – featuring postal themes.
George Harding painted two large (6.5′ x 13.5′) murals for the former Post Office Building: “Post Dispatch Rider” and “Ben Franklin, Colonial Postmaster” (1938).
Gordon comments that, “George Matthews Harding was born, raised, and educated in Philadelphia and developed an early interest in the founding fathers, particularly Benjamin Franklin [and George Washington]….Mining his own personal interest in these men’s lives, Harding produced paintings that stress the crucial roles of both the pen and the sword in the establishment, unification, and protection of the nation.”
The Harding murals are on the 6th floor of the south wing of the building.
The Clinton building is presently occupied by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and is not freely open to the public. To arrange for a tour of the New Deal murals, email [email protected].
Project originally submitted by New Deal Art Registry on July 11, 2014.
Additional contributions by Richard Walker.
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