New Deal/WPA Art in Roswell, New Mexico
Most of the post office works of art were funded under the Treasury Department's Section commissions. Those works that were created using TRAP funds are so indicated. Although the WPA funded the construction of post office buildings, the artwork was not WPA but was usually produced under the Section or TRAP programs. Unless indicated, works of art are located in the US Post Office building.
Roswell, NM Post Office and Courthouse
Photograph from the GSA Fine Arts Collection.
The Roswell, NM mural by Emil Bisttram was originally commisioned during the New Deal for the Federal Court House in Roswell. After this building was demolished, the mural was transported to Albuquerque where it was stored. The mural was discovered in the 1980s in the basement of a nearby federal courthouse, restored and mounted in its present location in 1983. It is currently installed on the 6th floor of the US Court House at 421 Gold SW, Albuquerque, NM.
Next to the mural is
an undated article from the Albuquerque Journal stating that in
the late 1980s, a biographer of Bisttram named Walt Wiggins happened to
visit the courthouse and discovered the mural, whose whereabouts had previously
been uncertain. As the mural was originally commisioned during the New
Deal for a federal courthouse in Roswell, Wiggins' theory is that when
the Roswell courthouse was demolished, the mural was transported to Albuquerque,
but not hung until 1983.
Democratic Vistas: Post Offices and Public Art in the New Deal
by Marlene Park & Gerald E. Markowitz
Check out the GSA record on the Albuqueque/Roswell mural
© 2005 Nancy Lorance
All Rights Reserved.