The historic Luverne, Alabama post office houses an example of New Deal artwork: “Cotton Field,” a mural commissioned by the Treasury Section of Fine Arts, painted by Arthur Getz in 1942.
“Getz received the commission for Luverne on the basis of designs he had submitted for a competition for the War Department building. As a northern artist he was warned by the Section when he proposed the theme of cotton: “It will be necessary for you to acquaint yourself thoroughly with the appearance of a cotton plant as the individuals using this post office will be especially observant on this point.” Getz consulted southern painters as well as researching the growing of cotton while he worked on the mural. The story of the completion of Getz’s mural was all too familiar late in the Section program. He had received the commission for the Luverne mural in May of 1941. In February of 1942, while completing the project, he needed a letter for his draft board from the Section to allow him to finish the work. Getz seems to have managed to complete the mural and send it to Luverne for installation only a week or ten days before he was to be inducted into military service.”