Federal Building and Post Office Murals – Salisbury MD


Jacob Getlar Smith painted three oil-on-canvas murals for the Main Street Maude R. Toulson Federal Building and Post Office in 1939:  “Salisbury,” “Stage at Byrd’s Inn” and “Cotton Patch.”

From an onsite plaque:

“Jacob Getlar Smith was born February 3, 1898 in New York City, and died there in October 1958. He studied at the National Academy of Design in New York, as well as independently in Europe. He exhibited at institutions around the country, including the Carnegie Institute, the Corcoran Gallery of Art, the Legion of Honor in San Francisco, the Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Arts, and the Virginia Museum of Fine Arts. Smith’s works are in the collections of the Whitney Museum of American Art, the U.S. Department of Labor, and the Missouri State Teacher’s College. Under the Works Progress Administration, he was commissioned to paint murals for the U.S. Post Office in Nyack, New York, in addition to these in Salisbury.

These three murals were commissioned by the U.S. Treasury Section of Painting and Sculpture at the suggestion of the Wicomico County Historical Society. The artist took his subject matter largely from historical photographs supplied by the Society, thus depicting actual scenes and modes of living in Salisbury in the early 19th century in an idealized manner. His first sketches caused an uproar in the community due to supposed inaccuracies, but he subsequently revised his designs for the final murals. The works were dedicated on September 18, 1939.

The Cotton Patch shows the steamboat landing which served as the primary point of arrival and departure for travel between Salisbury and Baltimore. The scene in 1832 is of a bridal couple saying their good-byes and preparing to board the steamer to Baltimore, a popular honeymoon destination of the time.”


Source notes


Originally posted in the New Deal Art Registry: https://www.newdealartregistry.org/

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Location Info

129 E. Main Street
Salisbury, MD 21801

Location notes: Courtroom

Coordinates: 38.365541, -75.599907

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