Clinton Post Office’s hidden gem

Mural was moved to new building in 1989

Way back in the 1930’s our country was suffering a severe depression. President Roosevelt instituted a number of programs to create jobs and get our country back on the right track.

Most people are familiar with his various work projects that created highways and dams, like Norris Dam in 1935. Most people probably are not familiar with his series of programs to keep artists working during the depression years. The President wanted to make art a part of their daily life.

Therefore, he authorized the construction of eleven hundred Post Offices to be built between 1935 and 1943. He then created a competitive art program for artists to compete for creating a mural to be hung and displayed in each new Post Office. Thirty of those eleven hundred Post Offices were constructed here in our area, including the old Clinton Post Office. That mural was transferred to the new Clinton Post Office in 1989.

That mural, painted in tempera, is 12 feet wide and four feet q0 inches high. It was painted by a young New York man, born in China, and living in New York, named Horace Day. It is a beautiful airy depiction of Clinton in the 1930’s. The depiction centers around the industrial and agricultural environment of Clinton in 1935.

At the time he painted this mural he was the Director of the Herbert Art Institute in Augusta, Georgia. His work is in many public and private collections, including those of Yale University and King College.

According to my research, there hasn’t been any mention of this mural in a publication since The Courier News featured it 25 years ago other than a small book by Professor Howard Hull in 1996. Professor Hull’s book informs us about the murals in the remaining twenty eight Post Offices with murals at that time. Appreciate this mural hanging in the Clinton Post Office on your next visit.