Amy Jones, muralist
"Recording the Victory" Mural and Painted Post Post Office|
Photograph by Kathy Connery and Steve Shaver.
Details of Amy Jone's Painted Post Mural
Photographs by Kathy Connery, courtesy of Painted Post Post Office.
Amy Jone's murals, like this one at the Painted Post U.S. Post Office, represent the Federal Government's desire to sponsor local artists and bring art to the masses during the Great Depression. The Federal government sought to relieve the economic and cultural hardships created by the Depression with its many different new New Deal initiatives, like the CCC, and the WPA. The government also funded the Treasury Department's Section of Fine Arts and other agencies' arts projects, hoping to change the relationship between the artist and society. The government sought to democratize art, make it accessible to all classes of people, put thousands of artists to work, and provide hopeful, communal symbols as a way to help citizens weather the Depression. The local post offices, the "one concrete link between every community and the Federal government," served as venues to display many artists' works. Eleven hundred new post offices were built throughout the 1930s, including the Colonial Revival-style buildings at Painted Post and Scotia Station. Jone's Painted Post mural, entitled "Recording the Victory," depicts a Revolutionary War scene of Colonial soldiers captured by a Native American war party, while her Scotia Station work, "The Glen Family Spared by French Indians," depicts the fate of a local family during the Schenectady Indian Massacre. The works reflect the government's desire to make art mirrors of local communities, avoid "official" art reflecting nationalist themes, and develop local cultural interests throughout the country. Nearly one-sixth of the artists employed by the Fine Arts Section were women whose talents, rather than gender, stood out during the anonymous selection competitions. The artistic corps assembled by the Fine Arts Section typifies the essence of many New Deal projects-promoting the common good-while representing the government's overall goal of putting people back to work.
The Painted Post Post Office is located at 135 North Hamilton St. in Painted Post, in western NY. The murals are viewable during the post office operating hours.
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