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Logan Square Post Office

Chicago, IL

Relief sculpture in lobby

The Post, 1937

Commissioned by: U.S. Treasury Department, Section of Painting and SculptureMedium: bronze silhouetteExecuted by: Rambusch

The Post on lobby wall above doorway in customer service area

The Post on lobby wall above doorway in customer service area

Hildreth Meière’s Art Deco style enlivens her wall relief sculpture in bronze silhouette that decorates the lobby of the Logan Square Post Office in Chicago, Illinois. It was the first time that Meière had worked in this medium. The commission came as a result of her having submitted an “outstanding design” as her entry in a competition for a panel to decorate the Justice Department Building. Although the panel was never executed, artists who presented “outstanding designs” were given the opportunity to decorate post offices.1

When she received the commission to decorate the wall of the Logan Square Post Office, Meière worried about creating a hackneyed image. She sent a sketch of Mercury to Inslee A. Hopper, Assistant Superintendent, Section of Painting and Sculpture, with the following explanation:

As to subject matter, I assumed from the blueprints that a figure subject was desired. I realize quite well how hackneyed the Mercury symbol is, but until something else as recognizable comes along, it still seems a good bet. Wheels, wings, trains, aeroplanes, etc., etc., suggest transportation rather than the mail, and whereas running animals can give a fine design suggesting speed, they too have nothing to do with mail. An interesting design might be evolved from a stamping machine, but would it be recognized? If you do anything with a postman, it is apt to get funny, specially if it is at all stylized. Remains the eagle, either in flight, or very much formalized, as a central spot, which I gather is not desired.2

Meière’s linear composition with Mercury is both dynamic and original.

The Post in bronze silhouette

The Post in bronze silhouette

1

Edward A. Rowan, letter to Hildreth Meière, March 30, 1935, National Archives, Washington, DC. For a full discussion see Catherine Coleman Brawer and Kathleen Murphy Skolnik, The Art Deco Murals of Hildreth Meière (New York: Andrea Monfried Editions, 2014): 169-72.

2

Meière, letter to Inslee A. Hopper, October 19, 1936, Hildreth Meière Papers, Archives of American Art, Smithsonian Institution, Washington, DC.

Additional Resources

Commission Location

Emblem

United States Postal Service
2339 N California Ave
Chicago, IL 60647

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