Wayne Aspinall Federal Building Mural – Grand Junction CO

Description

Crescent shaped oil on canvas, 5′ x 7’9″. ” The Harvest”, by Louise Emerson Ronnebeck (1901-1980), portrays a young man and woman working together harvesting peaches provided by the rich Colorado soil. A water/paddle wheel in the background represents modern irrigation which made the abundant harvest possible. The mural also depicts the Ute Indians leaving the valley on the right side and the white settlers pushing them out from the left.

By 1973, the mural was in need of a cleaning. It was shipped to Washington DC for restoration and subsequently forgotten. Until 1991, its whereabouts were unknown. The building manager of the Aspinall Federal Building in Grand Junction had come across frequent references to the mural, but could not locate it. Through perseverance and detective work, he finally located it in New York, had it restored and returned it Grand Junction. In January 1992, Louise Emerson Ronnebeck’s son and daughter, who had originally posed for the mural over 50 years earlier, unveiled it in a ceremony in Wayne N. Aspinall Federal Building and Courthouse, where it remains today.

Built in 1918, the site was originally the Grand Junction Colorado post office. It was renamed the Wayne N. Aspinall Federal Building and Courthouse in 1972.

Source notes

Fahlman, Betsy. “Louise Emerson Rönnebeck: A New Deal Artist of the American West”. Woman’s Art Journal. Fall 2001/Winter 2002, Number 2.

Melosh, Barbara. Engendering Culture: Manhood and Womanhood in New Deal Public Art and Theater. Washington, D.C.: Smithsonian Institution Press, 2001.

Fahlman, Betsy. “Louise Emerson Rönnebeck: A New Deal Artist of the American West”. Woman’s Art Journal. Fall 2001/Winter 2002, Number 2.

Melosh, Barbara. Engendering Culture: Manhood and Womanhood in New Deal Public Art and Theater. Washington, D.C.: Smithsonian Institution Press, 2001.

Motion-Meadows, Marion. "The Case of the Missing Mural". Colorado Heritage. Autumn 1991.

Rice, Ginger. "Lost Artwork Safe at Home". Grand Junction Daily Sentinel. January 18, 1992.

Project originally submitted by Amy Ronnebeck Hall on July 27, 2012.

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Location Info


400 Rood Avenue
Grand Junction, CO 81501

Coordinates: 39.068564, -108.565708

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