James L. Hansen received a Section of Fine Arts contract to complete a sculpture decoration for the new Lisbon, North Dakota post office on March 7, 1942. The terra-cotta relief was titled “Family Group.” Mr. Hansen was to receive a sum of $850 for the work; however, his enlistment in the U.S. Navy and his attendant relocation made the artist unable to install the work; as such $50 was deducted from his final payment.
According to WPAmurals.com:
“This information is from Ms. Elizabeth Anderson from the Smithsonian American Art Museum:
The Lisbon, ND relief was completed in 1943 but was never installed in the Post Office. It was stored in the basement of the Post Office until 1972, when the ownership of the relief was transferred from the General Services Administration (GSA) to the Smithsonian, but was never moved to Washington DC. As part of the “transfer,” the relief was loaned to Augustana College in Sioux Falls, SD. However, in the mid 1980′s, the Smithsonian was unable to account for the relief on the campus of Augustana. No one at the College can be found who remembers the relief. The President of the College at the time does not remember any type of transfer of art. It is probably still in a crate somewhere on campus.”
National Archives Record Group 121, Entry 133: Case Files Concerning Embellishments of Federal Buildings, Box 65, Lisbon, ND folder. https://www.wpamurals.com/ndakota.htm
Project originally submitted by Evan Kalish on July 21, 2014.
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