Detail of Palmer, "Mail Coach Attacked by Bandits", Clinton Building - Washington DC
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.
William C. Palmer painted two large (7′ x 13.5′) murals for the Post Office Building: “Covered Wagon Attacked by Indians” and “Mail Coach Attacked by Bandits” (1937). It must be said that Palmer’s idea of the Wild West was standard popular mythology and the Indians attacking a covered wagon with settlers bears no relation to postal service in the Far West – and is considered offensive by many people for the way it portrays Native Americans.
The Palmer murals are presently on the 7th floor of the north wing of the Clinton building.
The 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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