It’s a girl! Or, to those of you who aren’t ardent fans of Girl Power as I am, and find the term “girl” to be demeaning to grown-up women: It’s a woman. Not a lot of the post office muralists were women. It’s always fun when one pops up in the list — and when her work and life has reached the web in some way (yes, I know, the web is not the end all of research, not by a long shot, but we are still experiencing a pandemic and I do still have a day job, so it’s what I’ve got).
It’s a digression kind of day, I guess. And now, as they say, on with the show.
Louise Emerson Ronnebeck was a muralist and, I would imagine, something of a spitfire by the standards of the time in which she lived. Her Wyoming post office mural, Fertile Land Remembers, rather beautifully conveys the horrific near genocide of Native Americans (at least it does in my opinion) committed by settlers of the US.
At first glance, much of her work may not seem very interesting. But if you take a moment to look, you will start to notice recurring compositional elements (like objects, buildings, people, animals, etc. crowded together — does it represent prosperity or congestion or neither or both?) and themes; and you will start to see that she may be telling us more than we might first think.