312 E. North Ave.
Flora, IL 62839
Title of the artwork: “Good News and Bad”
Artists: Davenport Griffen
Welcome to another Illinois post office. Today we head a little southeast to the town of Flora. I’ll be honest I’m not quite sure what to make of this mural. I’m delighted to be able to see this in person and I’m happy to see it has not been destroyed or modified as far as I can tell.
Another great building that has a plane, train, and ship on the front facade of the building. We have seen this on many post offices through-out Illinois and other states. The Flora post office has also been named in honor of Robert T. Ferguson. Here is what I’ve discovered after performing a little research.
WHEREAS, In honor of his many years of service to the U.S. Postal Service and to his community, the post office building in Flora was renamed the Robert T. Ferguson Post Office Building; therefore, be it
RESOLVED, by the house of representative of the ninety-fourth general assembly of the state of Illinois, that we congratulate Robert T. Ferguson on the occasion of the dedication of the Robert T. Ferguson Post Office Building; …
In regards to the mural, to me it seems a little unfinished. What I mean is; there is lack of detail that tends to make me feel as though it wasn’t completed. Take for instance the two people sitting on the far right of the mural. The faces are missing mouths. It’s almost like the artist was in a hurry and decided to omit the details.
Another observation is the lack of detail in the clothing of the characters in the painting. I would expect to see some sort of pattern for the fabric of the shirts, pants and dresses. However, the artists omits these and uses plain clothing. Not even buttons or collars are noticeable. While these may be intentional, I’m left wondering if this was the artists first painting or just his “Style”. Either way, it leaves the viewer questing and maybe that’s the point too.
Another though is that maybe these two characters the ones he was trying to convey the “Bad” news. Maybe by not painting the mouths on the two people he is conveying a look of dismay or disappointment. It’s hard to tell but these are some of the thoughts that went throughout my head as I was observing and photographing it. I have been a bit critical in my review of this one, but rest assured it is still a treasure and Flora is lucky to have it.
What do you think of this mural? What jumps out to you when you view it? What do you see of don’t see that leaves you asking questions?
Thanks for stopping by
“Used with the permission of the United States Postal Service®. All rights reserved.”
- Personal visit on 6/19/2014 by David, Post Office Freak
- (affiliate link) Democratic Vistas: Post Offices and Public Art in the New Deal: [Hardcover] Marlene Park, Gerald E. Markowitz
- (affiliate link) A Guide to Depression Era Art in Illinois Post Offices: [Pamphlet] Mary Emma Thompson, PH. D.
- (affiliate link) Let’s Look for Mail Delivery in Illinois Post Offices: [Soft Cover] Mary Emma Thompson, PH. D.
- Chicago Modern (http://www.chicagomodern.org/artists/davenport_griffen/)