Carved Bear on Stairway Rail Panel, State Forester's Office - Salem OR
Constructed by the Works Progress Administration (WPA), the interior of the Oregon State Forester’s Office demonstrates a high level of craftsmanship. Its interior was decorated by a wood carver employed in the Federal Arts Program of the WPA with finishes to window frames and wood floors provided by workers supported by the National Youth Administration (NYA).
Making every room in the office building distinctive, different Oregon native woods were selected to panel each room – and each ceiling received a special treatment as well. Eighteen native woods are used in the interior. Eugene based artist Arthur Clough carved the stairway railing panels with likenesses of Oregon flora and fauna (such as ponderosa pine, Oregon Grape, bear and beaver). Clough is known as well for his three-part wood murals in the University of Oregon Knight Library Reading Room that honor the affect of New Deal programs on the youth of Oregon. His career as a high school teacher as well as carver might suggest why National Youth Administration workers assisted with finishing work on this structure.
Other finishing details, such as the crafted iron-work lamps and basalt fireplace, contribute to the building’s status as one of the best examples of the National Park style in the state.
"Arthur Clough (1891-1977)," Historic Knight Library: Art & Architecture - Research Guide. https://researchguides.uoregon.edu/historic-knight/clough
Fisher, James G. (1981) Oregon State Forester's Office Building, National Register of Historic Places Nomination Form. Salem: Oregon State Department of Forestry.
Historic American Buildings Survey Pacific West Regional Office (2004) Oregon State Forester's Office Complex HABS OR-186: Photographs and Written Historical and Descriptive Data. https://www.loc.gov/pictures/item/or0533
Project originally submitted by Judith T Kenny on January 15, 2020.
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