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Sunday, March 1, 2015

Sheboygan's Post Office Mural

I'll take a short break from posting the Ashland murals since I'm hitting the road and driving two hours north to stay in a rental in Sheboygan with my mother for the rest of the week.  I'm bringing lots of books and even my sewing machine because there's a chance we'll be snowed in on Tuesday, but at least we'll have a great view of Lake Michigan, right?

And speaking of Sheboygan, I can't believe I never posted the post office mural from Sheboygan!  I was going through my photo files deleting stuff and a quick check verified that somehow this one never made it on to the blog.

Schomer Lichtner was commissioned in 1935 to paint the murals by the Treasury Art Relief Project.  They were gorgeous when my friend Jeanna and I saw them, the murals were restored in 1986.

Jeanna was impressed when we walked inside and found the series on display. Nothing like some marble to frame your art, right?

Also on display was the artist's drawings and the telegram telling him he was awarded the project.  These murals were painted during the Depression and meant work for artists who otherwise might not be getting paid.

Speaking of getting paid, I just finished reading "Nickel and Dimed: On Not Getting By in America" by Barbara Ehrenreich.  In the late 1990's with some 12 million women being pushed into the labor market by welfare reform, she decided to go undercover and find out just how they were going to survive on the wages of the unskilled--at $6 to $7 an hour, only half of what was considered a living wage. She looked for a job and a place to live, worked that job, and tried to make ends meet as frugally as possible but quickly found that of course it was impossible to live on minimum wage.  She lived in Florida and Minnesota, worked as a housekeeper, a waitress and for Walmart.  There were a few things she was doing like eating take-out often (because she didn't have a fridge) that I thought someone truly struggling wouldn't do, but the major insight in her book was how difficult the housing market was and how even working two jobs and seven days a week she still couldn't make ends meet.  And of course the results highlight why many women stay with men they shouldn't because financially they have little other options.  Overall an interesting read, flaws in her experimental approach aside.

Taking part in Monday Mural, wish me luck in Sheboygan with all the snow!


  1. A great piece of history here. Tom The Backroads Traveller

  2. Had some snow driving home from Wales yesterday and when I got to work this morning. Nothing stayed it all melted away. That is a fantastic mural you have shown this week.

  3. What a special paintings on the wall, they look like paintings in a museum, beautiful.

  4. These murals are fabulous! The article/book sounds good too.

  5. What gorgeous walls to place these murals on. Just a beautiful presentation!

    I thought of you often as we hiked in Chiricahua NM. I have never seen a place so covered in all types of lichen and fungi. You must get there one day to see the rocks but especially the lichen! You will go crazy:)

  6. These murals are quite impressive. It's amazing to me that they have been preserved all these years. Good luck in Sheboygan. Wouldn't mind being snowed in with a pile of books. Thanks for contributing to this week's Monday Mural.