Oregon Federally Supported Art

We made a quick stop at the Multnomah County Library the other day for research purposes.  Up in the Rare Book Room we were able to look at some WPA photos of the Oregon Federal art Projects.  First, in these images of the Portland office, R noticed three Louis Bunce paintings on the wall (Bunce did a lot of WPA work) AND he knows where all three are at this moment in time, more amazingly…take a look:

3 Bunces

Oregon Art Project site (1)

the mural above the desk is by CS Price…

Oregon Art Project Site

then,we looked at the Salem Federal Art Project.  The location of this gallery/classroom/studio complex was in the basement of the old Salem High School on the land now occupied by Macy’s in downtown Salem…

SFAP outside

and the complex was just built into the hallway…

SFAP Construction

SFAP entrance

SFAP opening night


Louis Bunce was an early director at the art center, and Clifford Gleason was a student.  When they painted the murals in the Bush School library [now relocated to the North Salem High School auditorium], Gleason designed Sleeping Beauty, a millworker (name temporarily lost to us) designed the Ali Baba and the 40 Thieves, but the murals were painted by Louis Bunce.  In this photo Gleason is on the left, Bunce on the right…

Gleason and Bunce

Many thanks to Cathy Mink, Mike Bednarek, Nina Olsson, a host of donors, and the Salem-Keizer School District for being willing to save and relocate the murals when the old Bush School was pulled down.




  1. Bonnie, is Lucia Wiley on your list for wPA muralists? She was our teacher at Museum Art School. If an old post office is still on S.E. 7th, or thereabout, one of hers is in it. I’ll try to check it out. She certainly has others – I think she was in Timberline Lodge somewhere also. Norma

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