Shoemakers of StonehamWilliam Zorach - Terra Cotta Relief, United States Post Office Stoneham, Massachusetts
The Terra Cotta relief entitled “Shoemakers of Stoneham” was carved by William Zorach as a part of the New Deal Section of Fine Arts program funded by the Treasury Department. “[The relief] depicts three men diligently working away constructing shoes. Around them are the tools of their trade: knives, awls, lasting hammers, thread, leather, wooden lasts, pincers, stirrups and lapstones…”
“In selecting a theme for the new Post Office in Stoneham, William Zorach chose to celebrate the skilled artisans of Stoneham’s pre-industrial past. The three shoemakers depicted in the wall sculpture above the Post Master’s door hearken back to a time when shoes were handmade by skilled craftsmen called cordwainers . As far back as the 18th century, Stoneham was known as a town were many cordwainers lived and worked. The title itself carried prestige. Cordwainers were respected citizens, who operated their own independent shops and often trained apprentices in the craft.”
Project originally submitted by Marcia M Wengen on January 6, 2015.
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