Piggott Post Office Mural Featured on Stamp

Thursday, March 14, 2019
As part of the face-lift for the upcoming first-day-of-issue event in Piggott, the aged concrete steps in front of the Post Office were replaced this week. Taking care of the job was a construction crew out of Conway, who do work at Post Offices across the state.
TD photo/Tim Blair

Recently, the United States Postal Service announced it would celebrate its Post Office lobby government-commissioned artworks from the 1930s and 1940s by featuring five of the paintings on stamps. Included among them is the mural in the Piggott Post Office. Completed in 1941 by Iowa artist Dan Rhodes, “Air Mail” may be found on the north wall of the local post office, a building completed the same year.

In recognition of the honor, a special first-day-of-issue event has been planned for Wednesday, April 10, to mark the release of the stamp depicting the local mural. In preparation for the event, the local Post Office has received a face-lift on the inside, with new paint and a thorough cleaning. This week, the aged concrete steps are being replaced. The mural itself was also touched-up in preparation for the special first-day event.

The mural were painted as part of the Works Progress Administration and funded by the U.S. Department of Treasury and their Treasury Relief Project. During its existence from 1934 to 1943 some 1,371 murals were painted by nearly 850 artists in post offices and other federal buildings.

Last week, officials with the Postal Service announced the special ceremony will be held beginning at 11 a.m. on Wednesday, April 10. Scheduled to speak are Patrick Mendonca, senior director, Office of the Postmaster General; Piggott Mayor Travis Williams; John Gill, chairman of the Arkansas Parks and Recreation Foundation and Piggott Postmaster Stephanie Jett.

The murals were painted in the 1930s and 1940s in an effort to bring beauty to Post Offices across the nation. They were also designed to help boost morale of Americans during the Great Depression, and provide work for artists.

The stamps will be sold in panes of 10, featuring the five different murals. In addition, the town or city and state in which the work is located is printed beneath each mural.

In addition to the 1941 mural “Air Mail” in Piggott, the others featured included--”Kiowas Moving Camp” from 1936, in Anadarko, Okla.; “Mountains and Yucca” from 1937 in Deming, N.M.; “Antelope” from 1939 in Florence, Colo.; and “Sugarloaf Mountain” from 1940, which may be found in the Post Office in Rockville, Md.

Officials noted the Postal Service is committed to the upkeep of the classic paintings, and has a federal preservation officer and historian to both help maintain the beauty of the murals and also educate the public about their place in postal lore. Today, many of the works have been restored and remain on display for the public to enjoy.

Postal officials note the Post Office Murals stamps are being issued as Forever Stamps, and will always be equal in value to the current First Class Mail one-ounce price.

Customers may purchase stamps and other philatelic products through the Postal Store at www.usps.com/shop or by calling 1 800-STAMP24 (1-800-782-6724), by mail at USA Philatelic or at Post Office locations nationwide. The Postal Service receives no tax dollars for operating expenses and relies on the sale of postage, products and services to fund operations.

The Piggott mural is one of 18 in Arkansas, and others in the region include the ones in Pocahontas, Osceola, Wynne and Clarendon. The others include Benton, Clarksville, Dardenelle, DeQueen, DeWitt, Lake Village, Magnolia, Morrilton, Nashville, Paris, Siloam Springs, Springdale and Van Buren.

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