Gates Mural from former Post Office - Bethesda MD
Robert F. Gates painted the mural, “Montgomery County Farm Women’s Market,” in 1939 for the recently completed Bethesda post office. It shows a woman feeding animals next to women selling produce at the Farm Women’s Market, which opened on Wisconsin Avenue in 1932.
The mural was commissioned by the Treasury Section of Fine Arts. Robert Gates later became head of the Art Department at American University.
In 1938, Eleanor Roosevelt visited the Procurement Division of the Treasury Department to look at the sketches of the Gates mural. She later wrote in her diary the sketch was “charming,” and “I think these post offices are making the country more and more conscious of decorative, artistic values.”” (http://www.bethesdanow.com)
The post office building was closed and privatized in 2012, after which the mural spent 17 months in storage. In December 2013, the mural was “re-installed in the county’s Bethesda-Chevy Chase Regional Services Center” (4805 Edgemoor Lane).
The mural has been restored, according to Regional Services Center Director Ken Hartman, who worked with the United States Postal Service to let it again see the light of day.
Project originally submitted by Shaina Potts on May 11, 2012.
Additional contributions by Richard Walker.
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