Paris Post Office

Between 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.

Mural 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.

These 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 history.

One of these murals is in Monroe County at the Paris Post Office.

The Clemens Family Arrives in Monroe County

It has hung in the lobby since 1940 and depicts the arrival at Florida in Monroe County, of the Clemens family before Mark Twain was born. 


Fred G. Carpenter


 Graphics courtesy of Rhiossampler