The Monticello Economic Development Commission building—formerly the post office—features (New Deal) Section of Fine Arts-funded terra-cotta reliefs entitled “Tomato Culture.” They were created by Berta Margoulies in 1941.
“Berta Margoulies was commissioned for $750 to create a mural for Monticello, Arkansas as a result of competent designs submitted in a Section of Fine Arts Competition. Margoulies method of sculpting differed from the more usual techniques. Generally, an original model was copied in another material such as stone or bronze. These reliefs, however, were modeled directly in terra cotta clay and they were then fired in a kiln. This direct method, while more difficult and exacting, preserves the special quality of the molded clay as it leaves the hand of the artist.
The mural is comprised of three bas-reliefs of unglazed terra cotta illustrating tomato culture. In the large central relief, preparation of the soil is suggested by the man and two mules. In the smaller flanking reliefs, one show a woman picking tomatoes, with the plant used as a decorative motif while the other shows a male figure with baskets of picked fruit ready for market.”
http://uca.edu/art/postofficemurals/po_mural_monticello.php http://www.flickr.com/photos/courthouselover/487215200/in/photostream/ http://www.wpamurals.com/arkansas.htm
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