Post Office Mural – Corning IA

Project type: Art Works, Murals
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Description

This egg-tempera-on-gesso mural was painted by Marion Gilmore in 1941.

From When Tillage Begins: The Stone City Art Colony and School: “Gilmore won the WPA commission to produce a mural for the town of Corning, Iowa. The jury, led by former Stone City faculty member Edward Rowan, demanded that Gilmore’s image only contain actual architecture and landmarks in the downtown district. Her mural, ‘Band Concert,’ won the federal-sponsored Forty-Eight States design competition of 1939 and depicts a summer band concert in a small, Iowa community. Upon its completion, Rowan demanded that Gilmore remove two objects (a cannon and an obelisk) from the image; Gilmore made the changes to accommodate the WPA requirement. However, she also made other, minor landscaping changes, portraying the town in a sentimental light. Considered a tremendous success by the local citizens, the mural was installed in 1941. Gilmore continued to exhibit professionally, including the Iowa Art Salon (1938).

Gilmore eventually moved to New York City, married, and after World War II, began using a variation of her married name (“Mion Hulse”) and abandoned the use of her birth name for signed works. It is speculated that due to the then-art community’s reluctance to celebrate talented, female artists, Gilmore adopted a gender-neutral name for her later exhibitions. Among her many honors are several Iowa Art Salon awards and the winning commission for the Corydon, Iowa Post Office, entitled “Volunteer Fire Department” (1942).”

(projects.mtmercy.edu)

Source notes

Kristy Raines, When Tillage Begins: The Stone City Art Colony and School, Cedar Rapids, Iowa: Mount Mercy Univeristy Busse Library (2003)

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

Project originally submitted by The Living New Deal on February 14, 2014.
Additional contributions by Tom Parker.

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Location Info


608 7th Street
Corning, IA 50841

Location notes: Lobby

Coordinates: 40.989046, -94.735301

One comment on “Post Office Mural – Corning IA

  1. Olivia Sandbothe

    The study for this mural is on display at the Smithsonian American Art Museum in Washington, DC where it serves as an example of WPA post office work.

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