Post Office – Kennebunkport ME

Description

Constructed by the Treasury Department in 1940.

A 1941 Section of Fine Arts mural by Elizabeth Tracy was originally installed in the post. It was entitled “Bathers” and was a beach scene. The preliminary sketch had been approved, though the townspeople had not been consulted. Unfortunately, the opinion of a vocal part of the Kennebunkport populace was highly negative to Tracy’s painting, inflamed by the historic mural in the adjacent Kennebunk that was favored by the townspeople. The beach in the area is in fact in Kennebunk, not Kennebunkport. Permission to remove the mural was included in an appropriations bill, the mural removed and replaced by the mural by Gordon Grant in 1944 (pictured here). The townspeople gathered money to pay for the new mural. The location of the mural by Elizabeth Tracy is unknown, possibly painted over, though it was said to be removed. The long, interested story is one of the best and sordid tales of the Treasury Section’s work and is discussed in detail in Marling’s book.

Source notes

Park and Markowitz, Democratic Vistas, Post Offices and Public Art in the New Deal, 1984.

Project originally submitted by Charles Swaney on February 1, 2013.

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Location Info


5 Temple St.
Kennebunkport, ME 04046

Coordinates: 43.3626507, -70.47742

2 comments on “Post Office – Kennebunkport ME

  1. Suzanne Carey

    I found a BW image of the Bathers by searching Google and finding this book:

    Wall-To-Wall America: Post Office Murals in the Great Depression
    By Karal Ann

    Perhaps you might be able to contact the author so that you can include it here.

    http://books.google.com/books?id=C_heVcKKqVEC&pg=PA273&lpg=PA273&dq=Elizabeth+Tracy+Bathers&source=bl&ots=OhefKmu2xQ&sig=FfojsJ2jLs0iHhK5_wSGkn7XHgo&hl=en&sa=X&ei=zaTpUZCUKIGJqQHU_IHABA&ved=0CD8Q6AEwBA#v=onepage&q=Elizabeth%20Tracy%20Bathers&f=false

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