New Deal/WPA Art in Rutland, Vermont

These Post Office murals were funded by the Treasury Relief Art Program (TRAP) and not the WPA.

Rutland, VT Post Office
"Early History of Vermont" - oil on canvas
by Stephen J. Belaski (1937)
(Notes below are from a plaque in the Post Office)

A painting representing the assembly of Mountain Fighters in 1775.

A scene from Benedict Arnold's engagement in the first naval battle of the Revolutionary War off Valcour Island, now Gange Isle, and North Heron on Lake Champlain on October 11, 1776. Arnold is shown aboard his flagship"Royal Savage" at the height of the battle which the American crew has beaten by the British Warship, "Cableton." Only by slipping silently away under cover of a heavy October fog was Arnold able to save his fleet.

The freeing of the first slave in Vermont by Capt. Ebenezer Allen of Bennington on November 28, 1777 is portrayed on the large panel. Dina Mattis and small child were aboard a British baggage train captured by Allen after the rout of General Burgoyne. Upon Allen's return to Bennington he issued an official certificate of emancipation and gave the slaves their freedom, this being prior to the adoption of the Vermont Constitution forbidding slavery.

Images courtesy of the USPS

Photographs taken by William Kolodrubetz.

Reference Source:
Democratic Vistas: Post Offices and Public Art in the New Deal
by Marlene Park & Gerald E. Markowitz

Thanks to Jimmy Emerson who contributed the photographs!

Look for photographs of Post Office exteriors at the Post Mark Collectors Club (PMCC) Post Office photo page:

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© 2006 Nancy Lorance
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