Post Office Mural – Canyon TX


The Canyon, Texas post office mural “Strays,” painted by Francis Ankrom, was sponsored by the Section of Fine Arts. The mural, which was completed and installed in 1938, went through multiple iterations of subject matter proposals and sketches before “Strays” was finalized.

Project folders at the National Archives in College Park, MD show that Ankrom had sketched the following alternative ideas for the Canyon post office mural: “In Defense of the Mail,” “Rout in Palo Duro,” and “Onward Texas.” These alternative visions are presented below.

Source notes

Originally posted in the New Deal Art Registry:

National Archives Record Group 121-GA: Records of the Public Building Service
Prints – Photographs of Paintings and Sculptures Commissioned by the Sect. of Fine Arts, 1934-1943
Box 1: Frances Ankrom, Canyon, TX folder.
Scanned and processed by Evan Kalish, July 2014.

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Location Info

1304 4th Avenue
Canyon, TX 79016

Location notes: lobby

Coordinates: 34.9797278, -101.9309293

3 comments on “Post Office Mural – Canyon TX

  1. Becky Schweers

    My husband’s aunt, Pearl Schweers Ankrom, was wife to the artist. By trade, Frank was an architect, but lacking business during the depression, used his artistic talent. This is the story told in the family. To the best of my knowledge, he never sold any of his works. Various family members have paintings that he painted.
    Early on in my marriage, we made a trip to Canyon, with our three small sons to see Uncle Frank’s mural. He passed away long before I married into the family. I have a small bluebonnet painting that he painted that belonged to my late husband, H. E. Schweers.
    I had no idea that there were so many of these commissioned murals.

  2. Thanks to your comment, Becky, I tracked down the artist, whose name spelling indicates a female — which would have been unusual in that era. I’ve got this information regarding the (mis)spelling of artist “Frances” Ankrom’s name: According to the site, Francis Stewart Ankrom, born 1883, died 1952 is buried in San Fernando Cemetery #3, San Antonio, Bexar County, Texas, beside his wife, Pearl Ankrom (1901-1988). It appears there’s a typo in the spelling of his name, shown here as Frances (implying a female artist). The mural is a marvelous work.

  3. David Morse

    I have a painting of aspen trees painted by Frank Ankrom in 1940. My aunt found it in Los Angeles many years ago and I inherited it a decade ago. It’s now in Vermont and I love it!

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