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 #302

COVID Card #302

While there is a little information about Elsa Jemne available on the web, there's not as much as one might expect from an artist who made five post office murals (Iron-Ore Mines and Wilderness, Ely, Minnesota; The Hutchinson Singers, Hutchinson, Minnesota;...

COVID Card #301

COVID Card #301

What can I say about Betty Jeanette Carney? Sadly. Very, very little. I believe she was born in Montana in 1910 and died in 1991. She created on post office mural Discovery of Ore (Chisholm, Minnesota).

COVID Card #300

COVID Card #300

In honor of women's history month, COVID Card 300 (yeah, this is card 300 big whooping deal -- kind of feels like that doesn't? I mean, when you've made 300 of something in 300 days, they sort of lose their wonder -- they become ho-hum, just another day at the office...

COVID Card #299

COVID Card #299

Henry Billings was a painter, illustrator, and educator. While he worked in a variety of styles/genres, I (unsurprisingly) am drawn most to his work with light/shadow and rippling forms. The largest collection of his work online (outside of auction sites -- speaking...

COVID Card #298

COVID Card #298

Ross Moffett is another post office muralist who teaches us that we shouldn't judge an artist by the first couple of works we see or by early work alone. If it weren't for the number of his pieces that can be seen at the website for the Smithsonian American Art...

COVID Card #297

COVID Card #297

Card 297 marks another COVID Card first. It was inspired a photograph of an upside down painting. If you look at it on a small monitor or tablet or phone, you might see what I first saw -- a kind of interesting abstract work. On closer inspection, even the thumbnail...

COVID Card #296

COVID Card #296

While Dunbar Beck biographical info is scarce on the web, if you are interested in learning more about him, you can attend a free Zoom lecture about his life on March 23, 2021. Anyway... Beck made some pretty cool (that is a very legit, professional, art critic...

COVID Card #295

COVID Card #295

Ernest Fiene was, perhaps, best known for his lithographs. Much of his work may seem, at first, sort of unremarkable, but it you look closely, you will often find something special -- whether it's the shape of a tree or the arc of a herd of cattle. As far as post...

COVID Card #294

COVID Card #294

Once again, I am surprised to have found inspiration in a post office muralist. Today's artist, Aiden Lassell Ripley, is the kind of artist my dad would have loved. The guy was a conversationist -- no, no he wasn't, he was a conservationist. Well, he may have been a...

COVID Card #293

COVID Card #293

Allegedly, Stephen Morgan Etnier was a bad boy. You will need a subscription to Esquire in order to find out just what that means. If you subscribe, be sure to tell the magazine that I sent you. Of course, in our choose-your-own-reality world, we can all just make up...

COVID Card #292

COVID Card #292

The internet doesn't tell us too much about Ralf Edgar Nickelson. In fact, the closest I got to a bio is a paragraph in his daughter, Ingrid's, bio for a show of her own at Humboldt State University. Nickelson painted one post office mural in four panels:...

COVID Card #291

COVID Card #291

Helen Rubin Stoller was one of the many post office muralists to face controversy. In Stoller's case, it was not the subject of her mural (Susan B. Anthony) that was the problem, it was the presentation: the original design was too abstract. Sadly, we can see neither...

COVID Card #290

COVID Card #290

I was this || close to skipping Eugene Kingman. I don't get much inspiration from realistic landscapes no matter how well done they are. If you look deep enough, you'll find that he made some fairly sketchy lithographs and a mural with dinosaurs! Kingman made nine...

COVID Card #289

COVID Card #289

John M Beauchamp was a midwestern artist who, like many artists of the time, studied in New York and Paris. You can see several of his works on auction websites, as well as, the Walker Art center website and the Whitney website. John M (as opposed to John W....

COVID Card #288

COVID Card #288

Alzira Peirce was a bit of a Renaissance woman. At age 8, she was homesteading in Montana; at age 13, she moved to New York to work for an uncle who was an architect. Between then and her death at age 102, she painted, drew, wrote poetry, taught art, worked for the...

COVID Card #287

COVID Card #287

Try as we may, Mother Nature will always win. It really would be best if we didn't test her. Failing to pay attention to how close your very old, very large tree is to power lines, for instance, is probably not wise. If MN wants those lines to go down, they're going...

COVID Card #286

COVID Card #286

Minetta Good was another post office muralist who had an unfortunately short life. You can see examples of her work at Google Arts and Culture, the Art Institute of Chicago's website, the Princeton University Art Museum website, the Illinois State Museum Collections...

COVID Card #285

COVID Card #285

Sometimes Wikipedia typos are very disappointing -- as in the case of artist Elsie Driggs. Wiki P's list of post office muralists shows Elsie Diggs. I dug Diggs. Driggs is much less sketchy. The mistake does nothing to change how I feel about some of Elsie's work: I...

COVID Card #284

COVID Card #284

The web doesn't have too much to say about Harry Lane. You can see one of his works at the website for the Met and one at the website for the Smithsonian American Art Museum. Lane made four post office murals: Air Express (Oakdale, Louisiana) and Lighthouse, Sailing,...

COVID Card #283

COVID Card #283

Today's post office muralist, Ethel Edwards, was married to yesterday's post office muralist, Xavier Gonzalez. What a cowinkydink. What a silly non-word. They kept separate studios. That would explain why the artists were able to make a go of marriage. Edwards made...

COVID Card #282

COVID Card #282

Today's post office muralist is Xavier Gonzalez. His work ranged from landscapes to social realism to cubism. You can see some of his work online at the Whitney and the Smithsonian American Art Museum. Gonzalez painted seven post office murals: Tung Oil Industry...

COVID Card #281

COVID Card #281

Alois Fabry was an artist, educator, and author. He painted two of the largest WPA-commissioned murals, covering over 1,800 square feet of the Brooklyn Borough Hall rotunda. Alas, their fate is unknown. You can read all about it here. The work that inspired this card...

COVID Card #280

COVID Card #280

Schomer Lichtner was born in Illinois, but spent much of his career in Wisconsin. Fittingly for someone who worked in the Dairy State, Lichtner painted a lot of cows. He also painted quite a few ballerinas. And sometimes, he painted ballerinas with cows -- sometimes,...

COVID Card #279

COVID Card #279

Every once in a while, a single work by an artist sparks an idea and later I learn that the web cannot tell me much about said artist. Such is the case with Allan Gould. It seems that Mr. Gould was best known for his furniture design. And now I'm wondering if I...

COVID Card #278

COVID Card #278

Swiss-born Lucienne Bloch was an artist and an innovator. She is considered a pioneer in the design of glass sculpture. Having grown up in Michigan and lived in Detroit for several years, Bloch's Detroit depictions are meaningful to me. Bloch spent a lot of time with...

COVID Card #277

COVID Card #277

At least 115 of my COVID Cards have been inspired by post office muralists and I do believe (it could be that someone is allowing me to believe it, so it's probably not my fault if I'm wrong) that today is the first time I've seen Cezanne's name come up in relation to...

COVID Card #276

COVID Card #276

Martyl Suzanne Schweig Langsdorf was the daughter of artists, the wife of a physicist, and was, herself, a post office muralist. But more importantly, she created the Doomsday Clock. She allegedly said, in regards to her famous Bulletin of Atomic Scientists' cover...

COVID Card #275

COVID Card #275

Bernard Steffen was a Kansas-based artist best known for his lithographs. You can see some examples of is work online at Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts, the National Gallery, the Whitney, the Art Institute of Chicago, the MoMA, and the Smithsonian American Art...

COVID Card #274

COVID Card #274

I won't lie. If you ask me who my favorite Montana artist is, I'll tell you it's David Lynch. I assure you, it is not because he is the only Montana artist I am familiar with, though that is also true. Jessie Wilber was not born in Montana, but she is credited (at...

COVID Card #273

COVID Card #273

Today's card was inspired by the art of post office muralist, Kenneth Miller Adams. Adams created one post office mural: Rural Free Delivery (Goodland, Kansas).

COVID Card #272

COVID Card #272

Vance Kirkland was a midwestern artist and educator who spent most of his adult life in Colorado. Over his 50+ years as an artist, he worked in a variety of genres including abstract expressionism and surrealism. Kirkland created two post office murals: Cattle Roundup...

COVID Card #271

COVID Card #271

When is a mistake a gift? When you (that is to say I) learn from it. Mistakes don't bother me much. As I make a truckload of them daily, this is a very good thing. Today's Covid Card story is one of mistakes, surprises, memories, haste, the fast pace of modern life,...

COVID Card #270

COVID Card #270

Andrene Kauffman was an artist and art educator who spent most of her life in the Chicago area. Like too many of the post office muralists I've featured, most online examples of her work are found on auction sites. There are a few prints at the website for the Art...

COVID Card #269

COVID Card #269

Sante Graziani and I share a last name. Well, no, we don't, but the number of times telemarketers have asked for "Ms. Graziani" when they've called me is astounding. How one can get Graziani out of Granzo is beyond me. Mmmm....digression... Sante was an artist and art...

COVID Card #268

COVID Card #268

Not much is known on the web about post office muralist Joseph Meert, but the little info that is available contains a couple of interesting tidbits. Meert was a student of Thomas Hart Benton and was friends with Jackson Pollock, allegedly saving Pollock's life when...

COVID Card #267

COVID Card #267

Milton Avery is one of the most well-known of the post office muralists. Like many artists, he worked through various genres throughout his career, but he is best known for his flat (intentionally lacking visual depth), abstract works. You can see examples of his work...

Pin It on Pinterest