The Armistice Letter (Mural Study, Beaver Falls, Pennsylvania Post Office)

  • Eugene Higgins, The Armistice Letter (Mural Study, Beaver Falls, Pennsylvania Post Office), ca. 1940-1941, oil on canvas, Smithsonian American Art Museum, Transfer from the U.S. Department of the Interior, National Park Service, 1965.18.101

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Eugene Higgins worked for the Works Progress Administration in the 1930s, and in this mural study for the Beaver Falls, Pennsylvania, post office, he showed a farm family taking a break from their chores to read the day’s mail. The title tells us that the letter brings news of the end of World War I. Painted just before the United States entered the Second World War, Higgins’s mural anticipated the grim reality ahead. Bolts of lightning, rearing horses, and roiling clouds represent the looming conflict, while the dove of peace promises a brighter future after the storm has passed.

Title
The Armistice Letter (Mural Study, Beaver Falls, Pennsylvania Post Office)
Artist
Date
ca. 1940-1941
On View
Dimensions
18 1/4 x 32 1/4 in. (46.5 x 81.8 cm)
Credit Line

Smithsonian American Art Museum

Transfer from the U.S. Department of the Interior, National Park Service

Mediums
Mediums Description
oil on canvas
Classifications
Keywords
  • Figure group – family
  • History – United States – World War II
  • Occupation – farm – sowing
  • Study – mural study
  • Recreation – leisure – letter reading and writing
  • New Deal – Treasury Section of Painting and Sculpture – Pennsylvania
  • Landscape – Pennsylvania – Beaver Falls
Object Number
1965.18.101
Palette
Linked Open Data
Linked Open Data URI