Walnut Room this way

Walnut Room this way

Friday, May 3, 2013

Oil Fields of Graham

 Alexandre Hogue, University of Tulsa Art Professor, Emeritus, painted "Oil Fields of Graham" in 1939.  It was once painted over during a post office repainting, but has since been restored and preserved.  The mural hangs inside the art moderne post office of Graham.  Postal services were relocated to a new building a number of years ago, and the old post office serves as a museum.  Hogue's painting was one of many created under the Treasury Section of Fine Arts programs during the New Deal Administration.  You can read about the tremendous influence of the New Deal on economic and community development and benefits to a wide range of workers (including artists, engineers, skilled and unskilled laborers, teachers, etc.) at the Living New Deal project.  While we all benefitted (and continue to benefit even today) from the investment in people and communities under the New Deal, if you had a personal involvement, drop me a line and share your story.

The mural
...depicts the area's economic base, oil and natural gas production, and agriculture. (Old Post Office Museum and Art Center, opomac.net).
The mural depicts E. S. Graham, the founder of Graham, standing in front of Standpipe Mountain (located in the center of Graham), and oil field workers (Nancy Lorance, American Oil & Gas Historical Society).

As adolescents, we would walk up the trail to the top of Standpipe every year for the inauguration of "Y Teens" singing "we are climbing Standpipe Mountain" to the tune of "we are climbing Jacob's ladder."  Raise your hand if you remember Jacob's ladder or know what Y Teens was!

When I first found out there was a mural in the Graham post office, I marveled at how I could have gone in and out of that post office so many times and had no recollection of the mural, which hung in a prominent location just inside the lobby.  After learning that it was painted over, I think that answers my question:  I don't recall it as it was probably not visible during those years.  It was restored many years after I left Graham.  Thank goodness there is a plausible explanation for why I could not recall ever having seen it--made me feel a lot better, given I too often have to pause and think "now which password is it for this account?"


Beth said...

(Raising my hand)I know Jacob's Ladder! I'm so glad this was able to be restored - I can't imagine why anyone would paint over anything but they do.

Suzassippi said...

Yeah, Jacob's ladder! I'll bet you once made a rooster out of dried corn and beans, too, whilst singing Jacob's ladder. :)

Beth said...

Yep, and there was some dry macaroni in there, too!