• Enduring art from the New Deal

    Story by Marilyn Jones

    Born and raised in Deer Lodge, painter Elizabeth Lochrie completed an art degree at Pratt Institute before returning to Montana to raise her family and pursue what became a storied art career.

    Best known for her portraits of local Native Americans, the bulk of Lochrie’s work is featured in Montana’s Museum and Holter Museum of Art, both in Helena.

    But one of Lochrie’s works remains on prominent public display thanks to a unique government project aimed at boosting the arts during the Depression.

    It stands inside the Dillon Post Office lobby, a place usually bustling as people hurry to conduct their business.
    Like the “”News from the States” mural painted by Lochrie in Dillon in 1938, wall murals painted by American artists dating back to the 1930s and early 40s are on display across Montana, giving those hurried customers an excuse to pause. Many of works were painted by artists considered the best of their generation.

    To read the entire feature on Montana’s post office murals, find this issue on newsstands now. To read more about Montana all year, subscribe now.