Save the USPS and Make Your Grandma Happy

I began this project in May of 2020. At the time (and still) United States Postal Service had been hit hard by the pandemic. Controlling elements of the Federal Government (the now former president and Republican Senate) did not want to provide aid to the service. The USPS does not depend on the federal government (it is 0% funded by taxpayer dollars) but it suffers financially because of rules the government has imposed on it.

It may seem insignificant, but if we all sent just a few letters a week, we could help ensure that our daily, free mail delivery service continues. 

I wrote the sentence above in May 2020. Since then, I’ve learned that there are loads of people who depend on the USPS for low cost prescription medication delivery, for cashiers checks and money orders to pay rent, for deliveries to locations that commercial couriers won’t visit, even for their very lives (some shut-ins see no one but their letter carrier daily and the carriers often notice when something is wrong).

So write your grandma, d…arnit! Or your friend or cousin or your worst enemy. Just send a letter already.

COVID Card #343

COVID Card #343

Lester Bentley was a fairly well-known portraitist and muralist from Wisconsin. You can see quite a bit of his work at the website for the Two Rivers Historical Society. Bentley created three post office murals in De Pere, Wisconsin: The Red Pieta, Nicholas Perrot,...

COVID Card #342

COVID Card #342

Vladimir Rousseff (give or take an "s") allegedly tried his hand at many careers -- waiter, dishwasher, soda jerk, store clerk, peddler, factory worker, and more -- while saving money to study art. Eventually, he succeeded and enrolled at the School of the Art...

COVID Card #341

COVID Card #341

Charles Winstanley Thwaites spent the first half-ish of his life in the midwest, where he worked as an artist, printmaker, and educator. You can see some examples of his work at the website for the Smithsonian American Art Museum. Thwaites created four post office...

COVID Card #340

COVID Card #340

If you are a regular COVID Card post reader, you have probably figured out that I don't spend a lot of time researching the subject or topics of my cards. I would love to, but as it takes 2-4 hours to draw each card once a topic or subject is found, and I do have a...

COVID Card #339

COVID Card #339

Robert Lepper was an artist, designer, and educator. As an educator, he is said to have encouraged his students to look at every day objects as potential works of art. One of his students, Andy Warhol, excelled at not only looking at every day objects as potential...

COVID Card #338

COVID Card #338

How on earth (or any other planet) could I possibly fail to share a paper in which the first word of the introduction is “Sketchy”? Carlos Lopez was one of the few Latinx post office muralists and may have been the only one to have been born in Cuba. Lopez, who died...

COVID Card #337

COVID Card #337

The best online bio I found for William Lester Stevens is both fantastic and disappointing. It fantastically opens in a provocative way -- telling the reader they need popcorn before continuing and setting them up to expect something akin to "the sight of a man...

COVID Card #336

COVID Card #336

If I am correct, and I rarely am, William Riseman was better known as an interior designer, than a fine artist. Don't get your panties in a fluff, interior designers, you are, indeed artists. It is possible that Mr. Riseman was also an architect. William Riseman, the...

COVID Card #335

COVID Card #335

Muralist Saul Levine may be a victim of a second artist named Saul Levine, as far as web-based research goes. A web search on "Saul Levine" returns several results for a controversial film maker and professor and little to nothing about the post office muralist, who...

COVID Card #334

COVID Card #334

A long month's worth of COVID Cards and this game is over. It's been fun. Hollis Holbrook how heartily I do enjoy alliteration. Hollis Holbrook created over 500 works of art over his career. What a slacker. That's less than two years of COVID cards. (Hopefully, I...

COVID Card #333

COVID Card #333

It never fails that, when you give up the search, the goal presents itself willingly. Okay, so sometimes it fails. Often, even. But in the search for things that really don't matter in the grand scheme of things -- like the answer to that one crossword clue -- the...

COVID Card #332

COVID Card #332

Today's card was almost about Peter Blume. Almost. I don't know if I can do a Peter Blume card. I was fascinated by Peter Blume when I was really young -- no older than eight years old. My cousins (thanks, Norma and Karen!) gave me a game called Masterpiece. I may...

COVID Card #331

COVID Card #331

No fooling. Sometimes, one has to return to the beginning. Sort of like when you've lost something -- it's always a good idea to, when you feel you're out of places to search, look again in the first place you looked. So it is with the women of post office muraldom (I...

COVID Card #330

COVID Card #330

I can't tell you much about Alice Reynolds. The Old Jail Art Center (how great is that name?) seems to have the most extensive online bio of Reynolds who painted one post office mural: Founding and Subsequent Development of Robstown, Texas (shockingly, the mural is in...

COVID Card #329

COVID Card #329

Despite Peggy Strong's very short life, there is a bit more information about her available on the web than many of the female muralists who lived twice as long. She seems to have been fairly well known in and around Tacoma, Washington and just a few years ago,...

COVID Card #328

COVID Card #328

Margaret Dobson. Yet another in the seemingly endless line of women artists about whom the web can tell us little. I would have been much less surprised by this ten years ago -- and much more embarrassed that the web is my primary source of research on the post office...

COVID Card #327

COVID Card #327

I'm afraid that there is not much I can tell you about Thelma Martin. Assuming that we can believe the www, she existed; she identified as an artist for at least part of her life; and she made one post office mural: Wild Boar Hunt (Sweetwater, Tennessee).

COVID Card #326

COVID Card #326

Minna Citron. Let's start with that name. There's something really fabulous about it. Then there's the woman herself. Student, artist, mother -- and someone who approached controversial topics fearlessly. I think she was probably my kind of girl (as in Girl Power, not...

COVID Card #325

COVID Card #325

Marion Greenwood was part of a family of artists, so it is no surprise that her career choice was supported by her family. The influence of Mexican muralists on her work is quite apparent. You can hear part of an interview with Greenwood via the Smithsonian's Archive...

COVID Card #324

COVID Card #324

Bernadine Custer Sharp was an artist and educator whose career spanned most of the 20th century. You can see examples of her work at the websites for the Smithsonian American Art Museum, Londonderry Art and Historical Society, and Fine Arts Museums of San Francisco....

COVID Card #323

COVID Card #323

Ethel V. Ashton is another delightful surprise amongst female post office muralists. You can see many examples of her work online at the Woodmere Art Museum, the National Gallery, and the Met. She made one post office mural: Defenders of the Wyoming Country-1778...

COVID Card #322

COVID Card #322

A little more information about Theresa Bernstein is available online than most of the female post office muralists. City University of New York devotes a subdomain to the artist. You can see some examples of her work at the websites for the Smithsonian American Art...

COVID Card #321

COVID Card #321

Grace Lysinger Hamilton was, at least at some point in her life, a drawing instructor in Oakmont, Pennsylvania. You can see some of her work in this, seemingly abandoned, Wordpress blog. Hamilton made one post office mural: Early Days in Payne County (Stillwater,...

COVID Card #320

COVID Card #320

Olive Harriette Nuhfer is among the ranks of dead artists who are little more, as far as the world wide web is concerned, than names on lists and family trees in paywalled obituaries. She painted a portrait of Eisenhower, but if you can find an image of it online,...

COVID Card #319

COVID Card #319

Isabel Bishop painted a lot of ladies -- and why not? Styles were pretty cool when she was young. She was quite good at rendering people (in two dimensions on canvas and paper -- don't get creepy). Some of her paintings are like candid photographs -- not exactly what...

COVID Card #318

COVID Card #318

I'm a little excited to have stumbled across Sally Haley. Not only do I appreciate her art, I am grateful for her contribution to the arts, particularly in my adopted home town of Portland, Oregon. You can see some of her work at the Russo Lee Gallery website (I...

COVID Card #317

COVID Card #317

There is frustratingly little on the web about Alicia Wiencek (often shown as Weincek). One would think that her identity was "wife." Searches on her name turn up many articles about her husband (also a post office muralist), Ernest Fiene. Thanks to an auction site,...

COVID Card #316

COVID Card #316

There isn't much biographical information about Alice Dinneen on the web. A fair amount of her work can be seen on auction sites. The Smithsonian American Art Museum holds a Dinneen piece that may be familiar to you. It has been reproduced on cards, puzzles, and other...

COVID Card #315

COVID Card #315

Agnes Tait had a fairly long and varied career as an artist, but the web, perhaps not surprisingly, seems to favor her cat lithographs. Tait made one post office mural: Fruits of the Land (Laurinburg, North Carolina).

COVID Card #314

COVID Card #314

Musa McKim's career seems to have been overshadowed by her rather famous husband, Philip Guston. As far as the world wide web goes, she seems to be better known for her writing than her painting. You can read much of Musa's musings, as collected by her daughter Musa,...

COVID Card #313

COVID Card #313

Amy Jones (aka Amy Jones Frisbie Blair)was an artist and illustrator and the reason I know a bit more about tuberculosis than I did two minutes ago. Yeah. I know. Of all the things to catch my attention about this artist, what sticks in my mind is that she had a child...

COVID Card #312

COVID Card #312

Bernarda Bryson Shahn was, perhaps, best known for the lithographs she made for FDR's Resettlement Administration (if you buy the book, may I borrow it? I promise I am not a book thief). The Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art has one of Shahn's work on its...

COVID Card #311

COVID Card #311

Georgina Klitgaard was among the many post office muralists to be associated with the famed art colony in Woodstock, New York. You can see a couple of her pieces at the Smithsonian American Art Museum's website and at the Whitney's website. Georgina painted two post...

COVID Card #310

COVID Card #310

Mary Earley made two post office murals: Down-Rent War, Around 1845 (Delhi, New York) and Dance of the Hop Pickers (Middleburgh, New York). The Down-Rent War, also known as the Anti-Rent War, took place when tenant farmers were a little bit sick of being fleeced by...

COVID Card #309

COVID Card #309

If you are a post office muralist deep diver (I'm talking to you, Mary B), you'd better get comfy. Alison Mason Kingsbury is unusual among the post office muralists in that a ton (in virtual weight) of her work is viewable online. Cornell University's fabulous Digital...

COVID Card #308

COVID Card #308

Kady Faulkner. Sigh. She studied with Hans Hofmann. I'm pretty sure I mentioned this in a previous posting, but I love a good repeater -- ask my jazz musician partner. Hans Hofmann was brilliant. I photocopied his lectures about abstract expressionism and kept them in...

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