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Men and Wheat (mural study, Seneca, Kansas Post Office)

1939 Joe Jones Born: St. Louis, Missouri 1909 Died: Morristown, New Jersey 1963 oil on canvas 15 1/2 x 35 1/4 in. (39.3 x 89.5 cm.) Smithsonian American Art Museum Transfer from the U.S. Department of the Interior, National Park Service 1965.18.5 Not currently on view

Exhibition Label

In 1939, when many New Deal programs were at risk of cancellation for political as well as economic reasons, Edward Bruce and Edward Rowan hoped to save the Section by enlisting popular support. They selected a post office in each state to receive a mural, and launched a nationwide competition. Hundreds of artists submitted designs in the Forty-Eight States competition, and winning sketches, among them Jones's Men and Wheat, William Bunn's Mississippi Packets, Jenne Magafan's Western Town, Edward (Buk) Ulreich's Advance Guard of the West, and Alton Tobey's The Last Halt were illustrated in Life magazine. Although an important group of murals resulted, the Forty-Eight States competition did not stimulate widespread public demand for a permanent fine arts program.

Special Delivery: Murals for the New Deal Era, 1988


Architecture - machine - farm machine

Figure group

Landscape - farm

Occupation - farm - harvesting

Study - mural study

New Deal - Treasury Section of Painting and Sculpture - Kansas


paint - oil

fabric - canvas

About Joe Jones

Born: St. Louis, Missouri 1909 Died: Morristown, New Jersey 1963

More works in the collection by
Joe Jones