Mail - Transportation and Delivery

Mail - Transportation and Delivery


 46 E Ohio St, Indianapolis, IN 46204, Indianapolis, IN, 46204

Mail – Transportation and Delivery is one of a series of nine murals in the U.S. Courthouse and Post Office painted by Indianapolis artist Grant Christian in 1936, with funding from the Treasury Relief Art Project. The mural consists of 7 oil on canvas panels.

In 1934, U.S. Secretary of the Treasury Henry Morgenthau, Jr. established the Section of Painting and Sculpture with the goals of providing decoration for public buildings to increase public exposure to art and to provide financial relief for Depression-era artists. The Section’s head, Edward Bruce, considered post offices to be ideal locations for art, since they were accessible and widely visited.  The Treasury Relief Art Program (TRAP), affiliated with the Works Progress Administration, was part of this initiative. A national program of murals in post offices was commissioned with the requirement that, if possible, murals were to be painted by residents of the state in which the mural appeared. In Indiana, 37 murals were commissioned from mostly unknown artists.

Under TRAP, Indianapolis artist Grant Christian in 1936 painted a series of nine murals for the U.S. Courthouse and Post Office in Indianapolis (now the Birch Bayh Federal Building and U.S. Courthouse). This mural, located in the southwest corner of the third floor on the south wall, is one of them. Christian was 24-years-old and a recent graduate of the John Herron Art Institute (now the Herron School of Art & Design) when he was commissioned after winning a competition.

From left to right, the individual panels are titled “The Capital’s First Railroad,” “Transportation and Communication,” and “Industry and Legislation.”  The last panel shows Indiana Governor Paul V. McNutt (with document) and Indianapolis Mayor John W. Kern (behind the Governor) who were in office when Mr. Christian painted the murals. At the upper right of this panel, over the sleek modern train, is a depiction of the Indiana State House dome.

Photo, text, and permission credit: U.S. General Services Administration, Public Buildings Service, Fine Arts Collection

Medium type: Paint

Date created: 1936

Dimensions: each panel 4 ft. h. x 10 in. w.

Location Info

46 E Ohio St, Indianapolis, IN 46204

46 E Ohio St, Indianapolis, IN 46204, Indianapolis, IN, 46204