Clearing the Right of Way (mural study, Garrett, Indiana Post Office)

  • Joe Cox, Clearing the Right of Way (mural study, Garrett, Indiana Post Office), ca. 1938, oil on canvas mounted on paperboard, Smithsonian American Art Museum, Transfer from the Internal Revenue Service through the General Services Administration , 1962.8.66

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During the 1930s, Joe Cox worked for the Works Progress Administration, a government-sponsored program that put artists to work and made them part of America’s workforce. He identified with manual laborers whose survival was at stake, and Cox’s mural study for the Garrett, Indiana, post office reflects his sympathies. He chose to show the loggers hard at work, their muscular bodies bending over their tasks. Garrett had been mapped out in the 1870s by the Baltimore and Ohio Railroad. The Chicago division of the B&O main line ran through, carrying people and goods to Baltimore and Washington, fueling Garrett’s economy and providing work for townspeople. During the Depression, however, the railroad’s consolidation led to many layoffs. This mural would have served as a reminder of the town’s heyday, when hard work and risk taking brought prosperity.

Title
Clearing the Right of Way (mural study, Garrett, Indiana Post Office)
Artist
Date
ca. 1938
On View
Dimensions
33 1/4 x 29 3/8 in. (84.3 x 74.6 cm)
Credit Line

Smithsonian American Art Museum

Transfer from the Internal Revenue Service through the General Services Administration

Mediums
Mediums Description
oil on canvas mounted on paperboard
Classifications
Keywords
  • Occupation – industry – lumber
  • Figure group – male
  • Architecture – vehicle – train
  • Study – mural study
  • Cityscape – Indiana – Garrett
  • New Deal – Treasury Section of Painting and Sculpture – Indiana
  • Architecture Exterior – civic – post office
Object Number
1962.8.66
Palette
Linked Open Data
Linked Open Data URI

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1939
oil on fabric: canvas mounted on fiberboard

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