Card 122 is a little less sketchy (spaces) than most. It recognizes another post office muralist: Frank Hartley Anderson. His mural, Spirit of Steel, is located in the Fairfield, Alabama Post Office. If you follow COVID Cards, you might be wondering if Alabama had a corner on the post office mural market. It did not. It’s just the first state alphabetically. My secret is out.
Mr. Anderson was probably best known for his printmaking, though he worked in various media. Like many American artists in the 1920s-1940s, his work often depicted scenes from the lives of the poor and working class. Anderson’s work as an architect took him to Birmingham, Alabama where he founded the Southern Printmakers Society. His critique of an art critique seen here (language warning) reveals someone who is a defender of the south, but also someone who feels that northern artists can be the saviors and educators of southern artists. While panning one critique, he praises another, singling out the author’s use of language, which most of us today would take great issue with. There is much to be said about white artists trying to make a living by depicting the lives of poor, Black Americans, but that is for another day and a different project.
You can see more of his work here.