The Geneva, Nebraska Post Office
Geneva, Nebraska's Downtown - Note the brick streets!
The Geneva Post Office Lobby
As an artist worked through the assignment, from choice of subject to finished mural, pressure was exerted from many sources. Local groups might suggest a particular theme from the area's history or from local industry, while Section personnel would favor realism over abstraction. Townspeople often expressed their opinions on the details fo the mural design through the editorial page of the town's newspaper. In fact, Geneva residents complained that Edward Chavez's sod house builders are "Chicano, but no Mexicans ever lived here!" Even so, Edward Chavez's work was a favorite with the Section.
"Building a Sod House" by Edward Chavez, 1941
Edward Chavez studied at Colorado Springs and worked with Frank Mechau on a mural project for the PWAP in Colorado Springs. He also went on to paint murals in Colorado and Texas. In 1951 he received a Fulbright Scholarship to study in Italy, and he later taught at the Art Students' League at Colorado Springs and at Syracuse University. More of Chavez's work can be viewed at the Sheldon Memorial Art Gallery in Lincoln, Nebraska.
Chavez was married to Jeene Megafan, the muralist who painted the Albion, Nebraska post office mural. She died at age 31.
Chavez's later work in the 1950's and 1960's was painted in a very different style than the post office murals. In fact, his later work was mostly abstract.
Chavez's mural is one of my favorites!
Back to Nebraska Murals
Back to the Mural Home Page