Post Office Mural – Marceline MO

Description

The mural “Contemporary Life in Missouri” was commissioned by the Treasury Section of Fine Arts for the then-new Marceline post office. It was completed in 1938.

This is a dramatic mural depicting the work in this area of northern Missouri with extensive mining operations shown on the left, smoke billowing from the works, a large slag heap in the far background as well as behind the miners.  Farming is shown in the center and to the right of the mural, though the stumps of corn have a look of devastation.  Harvesting and shocks of corn are shown in the center and to the right.  The farmer’s wife is collecting the mail at the mailbox.  The barn and trees behind it are bent to the left, presumably from wind, though the wind presently is blowing from the left.

Joseph Meert was born in Brussels, Belgium and immigrated to Kansas City in 1910.  He trained at the Kansas City Art Institute and the student’s Art League in New York City.  He became a lifelong friend of Jackson Pollock in 1931.  He taught at the KC Art Institute from 1935-1941.  He never became successful financially and died in 1990 in Waterbury, CT.

Source notes

Park and Markowitz, Democratic Vistas, Post Offices and Public Art in the New Deal, 1984.

Project originally submitted by Charles Swaney on September 9, 2013.

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Location Info


120 E Ritchie Ave.
Marceline, MO 64658

Coordinates: 39.714945, -92.949725

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