During the Great Depression, another time of national crisis, postal stations were used to inspire citizens. Public art in federal buildings, including post offices, was created by artists employed by the United States government to beautify the country. In one federal program, 1,400 post office murals were created in more than 1,300 cities and towns.
|Theme of the South, by Laura G. Douglas--Photo by Justin Hamel
The mural in our post office, which is actually five cast stone reliefs, was created by Vincent Glinsky and his assistant Leo Schulemowitz under the Treasury Relief Art Project (TRAP). According to the Living New Deal website, the reliefs, which depict the "Evolution of Transportation," were created in 1934. The nominating document for the building's listing in the National Register of Historic Places in 1988 indicates that the reliefs were installed in the post office in 1938, the same year the addition to the building was constructed.
This post was inspired by the Atlas Obscura article, but it could just as well have been inspired by a suggestion made at the last meeting of what is now being called the Hudson Cultural Task Force. At that meeting, Linda Mussmann suggested that, "if we could find a pot of money," there should be a Hudson WPA Project--an arts and culture based effort to hire people to create something of value to the community. Seth Rogovoy and Jonah Bokaer agreed to work with Mussmann to explore the possibility.
A Footnote: When I popped into the post office this morning, wearing my facemask, to take the picture above, the postal worker behind the counter asked if he could help me. I told him I was just there to take a picture of the mural, and he told me I couldn't do that. Before I could ask him why it wasn't allowed, another postal worker corrected the first and said it was OK, so I never got the chance to learn why there would be a prohibition against photographing a work of art in the post office.
COPYRIGHT 2020 CAROLE OSTERINK