The Chicago Files

A CANADIAN EXPAT'S EXPERIENCES AND OBSERVATIONS LIVING IN THE WINDY CITY!

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*

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

  1. D. Parker says:

    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

    1. seaangel4444 says:

      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

      Like

  2. andy1076 says:

    Nothing like a great mural to tell a story 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  3. I am just loving these postings. thank you!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. seaangel4444 says:

      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

      Like

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

    Liked by 1 person

    1. seaangel4444 says:

      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

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

        Like

      2. seaangel4444 says:

        Ah bless! Thank you, my dear! Cher xo

        Liked by 1 person

  5. 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! 🙂

    Like

    1. seaangel4444 says:

      Well what an incredibly wonderful way to describe it! Thank YOU so much!! Cher xo

      Liked by 1 person

  6. georgeforfun says:

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

    Like

  7. 2e0mca says:

    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

    1. seaangel4444 says:

      Hi there! Apparently Sullivan was a pretty big deal ‘back in the day’ here in Chicago. Here he is: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Louis_Sullivan

      Cher xo

      Like

      1. 2e0mca says:

        Thanks 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

      2. seaangel4444 says:

        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. Mike says:

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

    Like

    1. seaangel4444 says:

      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

      Like

      1. Mike says:

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

        Like

      2. seaangel4444 says:

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

        Like

  9. Kev says:

    Interesting post… cool mural!

    Like

    1. seaangel4444 says:

      Thank you so much, Kev! Cher xo

      Like

  10. 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!

    Like

    1. seaangel4444 says:

      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

      Like

  11. Joseph Nebus says:

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

    Like

    1. seaangel4444 says:

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

      Like

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