Nokomis Post Office
"Coal Mining"
Nokomis, Illinois Post Office
Bernard J. Rosenthal - 1941
On May 6, 1935, the Works Progress Administration (W.P.A.) was created to
help provide economic relief to the citizens of the United States who were
suffering through the Great Depression. The artistic community had already
become inspired during the 1920s and '30s by the revitalization of the Italian
Renaissance fresco style by the inspired creations of Mexican muralists Diego
Rivera, Jose Clemente Orozco, and David Alfaro Siqueriros. Certain visionary
U.S. politicians decided to combine the creativity of the new art movements with
the values of the American people. The Federal Art Project was one of the
divisions of the W.P.A. created under Federal Project One. President Franklin
D. Roosevelt had made several attempts prior to the F.A.P. to provide
employment for artists on relief, namely the Public Works of Art Project
(P.W.A.P.) which operated from 1933 to 1934 and the Treasury Department
Section of Painting and Sculpture which was created in 1934 after the demise of
the P.W.A.P. However, it was the F.A.P. which provided the widest reach,
creating over 5,000 jobs for artists and producing over 225,000 works of art for
the American people.

It is this legacy of the thousands of workers who labored at their craft for little
money but great pride which we have to inspire us today. Although many of
these works of art have been destroyed or stolen, those that remain must be
preserved. They stand as a reminder of a time in our country?s history when
dreams were not allowed to be destroyed by economic disaster.
Bernard J. (Tony) Rosenthal
Born August 9, 1914, Chicago, IL. Studied: University of Michigan; A.
Archipenko; C. Milles. Exhibited: Art Institute of Chicago, 1939-1942;
Metropolitan Museum of Art (American Artists for Victory), 1942; Oakland Art
Gallery, 1941. Work: Illinois State Museum; Museum of Science & Industry,
Strauss Memorial Center, both in Chicago; USPO, Nokomis, IL (47). WWW85
121 S. Pine, Nokomis, Illinois