1934 and 1943, the Treasury Department's Section of
Painting and Sculpture commissioned art for 1,100 post
offices around the country. Its theory, and that of
similar programs like the WPA, was that people struggling
though the Great Depression needed cultural, not just
material, support. Post office murals were actually
executed by artists working for the Section of Fine Arts.
Commonly known as "the Section," it was
established in 1934 and administered by the Procurement
Division of the Treasury Department.
artists were provided with guidelines and themes for
executing their mural studies. Scenes of local interest
and events were deemed to be the most suitable. Once
awarded a commission, the mural artist engaged in an often
lengthy negotiation between the Post Office Department,
the town, and the Section before finally getting the
finished mural on the wall.
murals provide local communities with a colorful record of
their heritage and give us all a glimpse of the American
public's taste during a fascinating time in our nation's
these murals is in Monroe County at the Paris Post Office.