"The Chosen Site"
The lobby of the historic post office building in Van Buren, Arkansas, possesses a 12′ x 5′ section oil-on-canvas mural entitled “The Chosen Site.” This mural was painted by E. Martin Hennings in 1940.
From the University of Central Arkansas: “E. Martin Hennings was commissioned for $590 to create a mural for Van Buren, Arkansas as a result of an Honorable Mention in a Section of Fine Arts competition. Hennings used his wife and daughter as models for the women in the mural. He later reported that he had used a Mexican as a model for the father and had Americanized his features.
The mural depicts a pioneer family which has been making its way westward along the Arkansas River, facing the unknown with its hazards and dangers. They travel in a covered wagon drawn by a team of oxen, equipped with not much more than hope, courage, and a spirit of adventure. In this mural they are depicted as they have reached their destination. A promising site lies before them and here they will build their home and till the fields. Others will be coming to help make the beginning of the settlement that is to become Van Buren.”
University of Central Arkansas WPA Murals, Arkansas Originally posted in the New Deal Art Registry: http://www.newdealartregistry.org/