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Chatham County Historical Association

Preserving and sharing the history of Chatham County North Carolina

Siler City Post Office Mural

21 Apr 2023 4:54 PM | Anonymous

Siler City's Post Office Mural depicts "Building the First House at Siler's Crossroads" painted by Maxwell B. Starr in 1942. Note the rabbits on the left side. The house being built is the John Siler house (also called the Siler-Matthews house), which stood, until 1938, on the site of the present Siler City Post Office.

United States post office murals were produced from 1934 to 1943. Although they are associated with the New Deal, most of the Post Office works of art were funded through commissions under the Treasury Department’s Section of Painting and Sculpture (later known as The Section of Fine Arts) and not the WPA.

The idea was to provide high-quality artwork for public buildings, where it would be accessible to all people. The murals were intended to boost the morale of the American people suffering from the effects of the Depression by depicting uplifting subjects the people knew and loved.

Post Office murals were funded as a part of the cost of the construction of new post offices, with 1% of the cost set aside for artistic enhancements. Murals were commissioned through competitions open to all artists in the United States. Almost 850 artists were commissioned to paint 1371 murals, most of which were installed in post offices.

Artists were asked to paint in an "American scene" style, depicting ordinary citizens in a realistic manner. Abstract and modern art styles were discouraged. Artists were also encouraged to produce works that would be appropriate to the communities where they were to be located and to avoid controversial subjects.

#ChathamNCHistory #ChathamCountyNC #ChathamHistory #ChathamNC #postofficemural #SilerCityNC #PostOffice #murals #art #rabbits #SilerMatthewsHouse #ChathamRabbits #1940s 

Chatham County Historical Association  ~   ~  PO Box 93  ~  Pittsboro NC 27312  ~  919-542-6222  ~  

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