With about 1,200 murals and 200 sculptures in Post Offices nationwide, USPS is the custodian of the largest public art collection owned by any federal agency.
The artwork was created from 1934-1943 during President Franklin D. Roosevelt’s New Deal initiative. With the nation facing 25 percent unemployment in 1933, the New Deal sponsored several art programs to help put people back to work and restore national confidence.
The murals and sculptures seen in Post Offices were produced under the Treasury Department’s Section of Painting and Sculpture, later called the Section of Fine Arts. Unlike the Works Progress Administration/Federal Art Project, this program was not directed toward providing economic relief. Instead, the art placed in Post Offices was intended to help boost the morale of people suffering during the Great Depression.
The Postal Service makes every effort to preserve and safeguard the art for future generations. In addition, the Postal Service traditionally will not remove the artwork from its community of origin, even if a Post Office closes. It is the Postal Service’s position that the artwork was created for a particular community and should remain in that community.
This oil on canvas mural, “Postman in Storm,” was painted by Robert Tabor and is located in Independence, IA. The mural was installed in January 1938 and restored in 2000.