"Early Mail Service and the Construction of Railroads"
Section of Fine Arts mural entitled “Early Mail Service and the Construction of Railroads” painted in 1938 by Philip Guston. It has been restored and moved from the original post office to the new one.
“Philip Guston’s mural study shows the history of mail service on the frontier, from the days when sacks of mail arrived on horseback to the coming of railroads and telegraph lines that displaced much of the mail traffic…. After Guston submitted his study, government officials noted that he had lavished more attention on the workers than the rest of the image and specified that ‘The strength of drawing reflected in the two workmen laying the rails . . . is the quality of draftsmanship we would like you to characterize in the entire design.’ The bureaucratic process required that Guston submit several versions of the composition to the superintendent of the Treasury Department’s Section of Painting and Sculpture. After he had made the revisions required by the officials, the composition was approved for the post office in Commerce, Georgia. He finished the mural in 246 days and was paid $510 for his efforts. (Edward B. Rowan to Philip Guston, January 4, 1938, SAAM curatorial file)” (Smithsonian American Art Museum)
https://www.wpamurals.com/commerce.htm https://www.flickr.com/photos/auvet/200620051/ https://americanart.si.edu/collections/search/artwork/?id=9749
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This very valuable and historic mural sits framed and mounted in a corner of the post office in Commerce, Georgia, where only post office box holders will get a glimpse. Most folks in Commerce and surrounding communities have no idea that a wonderful piece of art work worth countless millions of dollars even graces the wall of there local post office.