“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
Warrenton in Warren County, North Carolina — The American South (South Atlantic)

New Deal Art in Warrenton


New Deal Art in Warrenton Marker image. Click for full size.
Photographed By Devry Becker Jones (CC0), August 27, 2021
1. New Deal Art in Warrenton Marker
"My mural for the Warrenton, North Carolina, Post Office is simply a decorative landscape composed of animals in a pasture typical of the locale, and arranged in a design suitable to the architecture." — Alice Dinneen

Art is a Necessity When President Roosevelt took office in 1933, the unemployed in the United States included 10,000 artists. George Biddle, an artist, wrote to FDR about the struggles of unemployed American artists. In the 1930s, the federal government recognized that art was a necessity and that art and the government were important during times of depression.

L.W. Robert, Jr., Assistant Secretary of the Treasury, wrote in 1933 that "The encouragement of art is a vital factor in our civilization and culture and should be continuously supported in depressed as well as boom periods."

North Carolina Pastoral
The Section of Fine Arts awarded Alice Dinneen her contract for the Warrenton mural on October 1, 1937. She would receive $680 for the successful completion and installation of a 5'11" × 14' mural in the Warrenton Post Office
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to be completed in 242 days. Postmaster C.F. Moseley (1938) wrote about Dinneen's mural stating is a "splendid piece of art and an addition to the office".

Step inside the Warrenton Post Office to view Alice Dinneen's 1938 New Deal mural.

The Artist
Alice Dinneen (1907-1963)

Alice Dinneen was born in Bearsville, New York on February 23, 1907. She studied at the New York School of Applied Design for Women and at the Art Students League. She also painted the New Deal mural in Corbin, Kentucky, and she assisted artist Allan Gould, her husband, with his 1938 mural Gathering Tobacco in the Roxboro, NC post office.

During the Great Depression the federal government built over 1,100 post offices throughout the country as part of the New Deal including at least twelve in North Carolina.

1933: The Federal Emergency Relief Act was signed in May of 1933.
1935: The Works Progress Administration was created in 1935.
Jan 1936: Site selected for new Post Office
Feb 1936: Site work began on Post Office property
Mar 1936: Fred Moseley appointed Postmaster
Oct 1936: $40,9813 contracted awarded to Upchurch Construction Co. of Montgomery, AL; Work to be completed in 210 days.
Warrenton Post Office image. Click for full size.
Photographed By Devry Becker Jones (CC0), August 27, 2021
2. Warrenton Post Office
New Post Office opened. First letter mailed by John Kerr, III, grandson of Congressman Kerr.
Topics and series. This historical marker is listed in these topic lists: Arts, Letters, MusicCharity & Public WorkCommunications. In addition, it is included in the Former U.S. Presidents: #32 Franklin D. Roosevelt, the Postal Mail and Philately, and the Works Progress Administration (WPA) projects series lists. A significant historical date for this entry is February 23, 1907.
Location. 36° 24.006′ N, 78° 9.286′ W. Marker is in Warrenton, North Carolina, in Warren County. Marker is on North Main Street (U.S. 401) just south of Fairview Street, on the left when traveling north. Touch for map. Marker is at or near this postal address: 143 N Main St, Warrenton NC 27589, United States of America. Touch for directions.
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within walking distance of this marker. John H. Kerr (within shouting distance of this marker); Emmanuel Episcopal Church (within shouting distance of this marker); Horace Greeley (within shouting distance of this marker); Courthouse (about 700 feet away, measured in a direct line); Waddill Brick Store (about 700 feet away); World Wars I and II Memorial (about 800 feet away); Warrenton Male Academy (approx. 0.2 miles away); Bragg Home (approx. 0.2 miles away). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Warrenton.
Credits. This page was last revised on August 29, 2021. It was originally submitted on August 29, 2021, by Devry Becker Jones of Washington, District of Columbia. This page has been viewed 185 times since then and 15 times this year. Photos:   1, 2. submitted on August 29, 2021, by Devry Becker Jones of Washington, District of Columbia.

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Apr. 14, 2024