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THREE LOBBY MURALS: Progress of Industry, The Second Battle of Trenton, and Rural Delivery

  • 402 East State Street
  • Trenton, NJ 08608
  • Artwork Creator: Charles Ward
  • Hours: 9AM-4PM, Mon-Fri
  • Access: Open to public
  • Sponsor/Project: Work Progress Administration
  • Project Date: 1937

“During the Depression Era, the New Deal fine Art Projects recognized the plight of artists and commissioned paintings and sculpture for the embellishment of newly constructed Federal Buildings, post offices and courthouses. These three murals, installed in 1937, represent scenes of local interest. The Progress of Industry represents the significance of wire mills to the development of industry in Trenton. The Second Battle of Trenton depicts the defeat of the Hessian army by General George Washington’s troops of Trenton in 1777. Rural Delivery represents the significance of mail delivery in rural areas, as it was rural America’s main link to the outside world.” – Downtown Trenton Artwalk

“In 1935, [Ward] made history when he executed the first Post Office mural, “Progress and Industry,” under the Treasury Department’s Fine Arts Section for the Trenton Post Office (now the Federal Courthouse). In 1937 he completed two others for the same building, entitled "Rural Delivery", and "The Second Battle of Trenton". In 1938 his mural "Cotton Picking" was installed in the Roanoke Rapids Post Office in North Carolina. Despite controversy that the work was too respectful of African Americans, the mural remained.” – Historical Society For The United States District Court For The District Of New Jersey

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