Post Office Mural – Claremont CA

Project type: Art Works, Murals
Quality of Information:
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Milford Zornes painted an enormous oil-on-canvas mural, “California Landscape”, in the Claremont CA post office.  The 58′ x 3’4″ mural wraps around all four walls of the lobby of the post office, appearing as more of a frieze than a mural.  It tells the history of the Claremont CA area. 

The mural was funded by the Treasury Relief Arts Program in 1937 and completed sometime in 1939. Zornes was assisted by other painters, including George Biddle.

Source notes

More photos by Jordan McAlister at:[email protected]/4238462865/in/photostream/

Project originally submitted by Shaina Potts on February 14, 2010.
Additional contributions by Charles Swaney.

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Location Info

140 North Harvard Ave.
Claremont, CA 91711

Coordinates: 34.095053, -117.716416

2 comments on “Post Office Mural – Claremont CA

  1. Comment submitted by Maria (Zornes) and Hal Baker:

    All of Milford’s papers have been donated to Pomona college in Claremont, Calif. Included in those papers are 4-5 letters from George Biddle and others who worked with Milford when he did the New Deal mural in the Claremont (Calif.) Post Office. There was some disagreement about what they wanted and what Milford wanted to do. Eventually he did what he proposed. They wanted a mural on a large wall of the Post Office and Milford wanted to do a mural around the top of the room. As I recall they were not that happy with the design he submitted, either. Eventually all his papers will be archived at Pomona College and available to the public. These letters will be included.

  2. The mural still stands in the Claremont Post office today (almost 80 years later) and is considered a local treasure despite its dated ‘New Deal’ look. Like its creator, Milford Zornes, the painting is relatively unassuming but a perfect and timeless complement to the public space which it decorates. I love the muted colors and the overall tone of the frieze. To me it is what public art ought to be—relevant to the community, telling a story, pleasing to look at and well integrated into the site. I’m glad Zornes won the battle with the bureaucrats to make it a continuous graphic–signifying the never-ending and always evolving story of Claremont.

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