Wednesday, May 22, 2013

An Old Gem in an Urban Setting

In my own experience, I have found that no matter where you live, if you look hard enough, you can find something beautiful. Art, whether fine or crazy, always has a way of showing up where you least expect it. In this case, the place I found it was an old post office. I think it might have been a bank or something a long time ago (the building is at least a hundred years old). I was visiting a friend and had a letter to drop off, so I went to the Post Office near her house. Standing on the line (which never seemed to MOVE) I happened to look up and see this...

What a beautiful mural. It looked dark, like it was covered in years of dust. After I finally purchased my stamp at the teller, I took a closer look at it. It didn't make sense to me. why was the picture so dark?? It looked like someone put some black cellophane over it. It was then that something caught my eye. A signature!

Signed across the boat on the far left of the painting, it said "A. Lisinsky & I. A Block '42". No wonder the painting looked so worn. It was made in 1942! I couldn't believe it. This painting is 72 years old.

It was probably part of the New Deal Public Works of Art Project (PWAP) developed by President Roosevelt's administration! Wow. If only the USPS would clean it, it such a shame to see it uncared for. A piece of American history left to decay when it looks fine enough to be in a museum.

The painting has some very distinctive figures. One looks like George Washington himself (guy on the white horse).

Another is a beautifully depicted Native American Indian with ebony braided hair, wearing a red cloak. Its the first (and probably last) time I was ever happy to get stuck on a post office line.


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