"Illinois Pastoral"Post Office mural, Virden, IL, James Daugherty, "Illinois Pastoral", 1939, tempera and oil on canvas
The post office contains a 1939 Section of Fine Arts mural by James Daugherty entitled “Illinois Pastoral.”
This is a strong mural showing people involved in agriculture, interesting in that the people are shown as most important, having a great deal of energy and bright colors, whereas the land, corn and other agriculture products are in the background. Although the mural has been exposed to sunlight for many years, the colors are vibrant.
James Daugherty was born in North Carolina, but his family moved frequently to Indiana, Ohio, and then to Washington, DC where he studied at the Corcoran School of Art. He then studied under Frank Brangwyn in London. He produced posters for the US Govt during WW I. He authored children’s books and was an illustrator, also.
There are no other known post office murals by this artist, though there is a mural commissioned by the Public Works of Art Project in Greenwich, CT that was moved from the Hamilton Ave Elementary School to the Greenwich Public Library after it was restored and the original violent imagery become visible and was objected to by the school officials.
Park and Markowitz, Democratic Vistas, Post Offices and Public Art in the New Deal, 1984.
Project originally submitted by Charles Swaney on February 15, 2013.
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