Map: New Deal Public Art in Washington State Post Offices

During the New Deal, the Federal Government sponsored a wide array of cultural programs, subsidizing the production of new works in painting, sculpture, theater, music and literature as never before. One of the most enduring legacies of this era are the hundreds of murals completed for placement in the nation's post offices. Part of the Treasury Department's Section of Painting and Sculpture (later known as the Section of Fine Arts) initiative, the post office murals embody much of the sentiment underlying 1930's public art. This includes a passion to "democratize" art by bringing it directly to the people; a desire to valorize the experience of all Americans by highlighting regional and local history; and, a drive to create a unified national identity through the celebration of common symbols and stories.

This google interactive map marks the location of the 18 Washington State post offices that housed art commissioned by the Section. Common motifs include agriculture, logging and western history, featuring images of both Euro-American settlers and Native peoples. For more information on the Treasury program, please see the research report "The Section of Painting and Sculpture in Washington State," by Eleanor Mahoney. Please note, the locations of pins is approximate, not an exact address.

View Washington Post Office Murals in a larger map