USPS Mural #2, and I’ve got news for you!

Mural USPS 2

Earlier this week I wrote a post called, “Post Office Profoundness” about an interesting mural I saw at a United States Postal Service (USPS) office here in Chicago.  The above photo is the other mural I saw that day, notably created by the same artist.  After some research, didn’t I find a fascinating tale about these significant art pieces.

In 1939 the, “Work Projects Administration” (WPA) was formed to employ millions of out of work individuals to carry out public works projects, primarily the construction of roads and buildings.  However, there was a tinier, yet well-known project called, “Federal Project Number One” which employed artists, writers, actors, and directors in literacy, drama, and arts activities.

Entering the scene is one Henry Varnum Poor.  You’ll love the irony I’m sure.  Mr. Poor did not live up to his name in the literal sense.  He was, in fact, a rather well-established artist in 1943 when asked to work on the WPA’s USPS murals.  It was thought Mr. Poor’s well-respected reputation in the art world would lend the project a sense of propriety, despite the fact most projects were to be completed by unemployed craftsman.

Now, back to the building where we find that the first mural is entitled, “Carl Sandburg”.  It portrays farmers and Carl Sandburg with a guitar and the words, “From the sun and the black soil poetry and song sprang”. Carl Sandburg was a Pulitzer Prize winning poet and writer from Illinois.  An ode to farmers and artists is the theme behind this mural.

The mural above is called, “Louis Sullivan” which displays iron workers and Louis Sullivan, a Chicago architect who was referred to as, “the father of skyscrapers” for his creations of modern-day skyscrapers.  Sullivan was also a mentor to architect Frank Lloyd Wright.  The mural notes, “Out of the wealth and the needs of industry came a new architecture”.  Mr. Sullivan is depicted holding the Carson Pirie Scott & Co. building; his architectural gem was constructed in 1899 and is still located on State Street in Chicago.

Well, my postal purchases will never be the same, now will they? *grin*

  30 comments for “USPS Mural #2, and I’ve got news for you!

  1. March 19, 2015 at 8:56 am

    Isn’t that gorgeous? It’s a wonderful what art can do for the soul. 🙂
    Thank you Cher. I’ve passed it along so others can enjoy your post. 🙂
    Big hugs, Donna xo

    Liked by 1 person

    • March 19, 2015 at 8:58 am

      Good morning, Donna! Thank you so much!!! That’s terrific! Oh yes, I feel the same way. And to think this old, echoing building holds such historical artwork is really something!! Big hugs to you, my dear, Cher xo


  2. March 19, 2015 at 9:54 am

    Nothing like a great mural to tell a story 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  3. March 19, 2015 at 10:25 am

    I am just loving these postings. thank you!

    Liked by 1 person

    • March 19, 2015 at 10:55 am

      Ah, thank you so much, Kimberly! I honestly wondered if everyone would find it as interesting as I do! I mean, two mural posts in one week? *grin* Cher xo


  4. kabir gandhiok
    March 19, 2015 at 10:27 am

    Really nice of them to involve so many artists, what a great idea 🙂 Thanks for sharing!

    Liked by 1 person

    • March 19, 2015 at 10:55 am

      I thought so, too! I had no idea about the projects or anything behind these murals. And I’m so happy they’ve kept them exactly the same after all these years! Oh, thank YOU! Cher xo

      Liked by 1 person

      • kabir gandhiok
        March 19, 2015 at 11:13 am

        Indeed, a very kind gesture 🙂 and you’re most welcome 🙂


      • March 19, 2015 at 11:27 am

        Ah bless! Thank you, my dear! Cher xo

        Liked by 1 person

      • kabir gandhiok
        March 19, 2015 at 11:29 am

        🙂 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

  5. March 19, 2015 at 11:13 am

    It’s really nice to be able to see and enjoy art in public places. It elevates our daily routines to something more grand. Thanks for sharing this interesting post! 🙂


  6. March 19, 2015 at 12:00 pm

    Reblogged this on georgeforfun and commented:
    Chicago has some great buildings, especially where the great fire occurred. )))))))))))


  7. March 19, 2015 at 1:27 pm

    I knew Frank Lloyd Wright but I hadn’t heard of Sullivan – thanks for the info, I’ll look him up 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    • March 19, 2015 at 1:33 pm

      Hi there! Apparently Sullivan was a pretty big deal ‘back in the day’ here in Chicago. Here he is:

      Cher xo


      • March 19, 2015 at 1:35 pm

        Thanks 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

      • March 19, 2015 at 1:37 pm

        Most welcome! One of my absolute favorite things to do in Chicago is take the architectural boat tours. It’s fascinating, and the plethora of architectural styles here is like nowhere else I’ve ever seen. I’ll be sure and post more buildings, etc. Cher xo

        Liked by 1 person

  8. March 19, 2015 at 3:58 pm

    Nice article. Thanks for the history lesson. I had know idea it was Sandburg with the guitar.


    • March 19, 2015 at 4:02 pm

      Thank you, Mike! You mentioned Sandburg in my earlier post this week. When I read it was Sandburg in the mural I thought, hey, you must have already known! Cher xo


      • March 19, 2015 at 4:15 pm

        Ah, I wish the connection were so direct. I knew Sandburg, poetry and Chicago and just imagined in this case they went together. ☺


      • March 19, 2015 at 4:21 pm

        Lo and behold, you were correct!! Well done, Mike!! Cher xo 🙂


  9. Kev
    March 19, 2015 at 3:58 pm

    Interesting post… cool mural!


    • March 19, 2015 at 4:03 pm

      Thank you so much, Kev! Cher xo


  10. March 20, 2015 at 5:24 am

    This is fascinating stuff- public art is always a really interesting reflection on the preoccupations of a community at a certain point in time. And they’re also really beautiful – thanks for posting!


    • March 20, 2015 at 11:00 am

      Veronica, I absolutely love how you stated this! It’s perfect! This is exactly why I feel public art is so important; reflection of who we were at the time, and where we were going. Thank you so much! Cher xo


  11. March 21, 2015 at 1:43 am

    The WPA, and its connected art projects, did so much to beautify public spaces. We desperately need them back.


    • March 21, 2015 at 2:39 pm

      I quite agree; in fact, it really does change the environment dramatically. Something (as you so perfectly stated) we desperately need back! Cher xo


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