: This photograph is a black-and-white image of a colorful mural titled "New London Facts,” completed in 1941 by artist Lloyd R. Ney (1893-1965). The oil-on-canvas mural, which measures 5 feet high by 14 feet wide, is located in the New London, Ohio, post office.
The mural was funded by the U.S. Department of the Treasury’s Section of Painting and Sculpture (the "Section"), one of the department’s three visual arts programs instituted during the Great Depression. Established in 1934, the Section commissioned artists to create paintings and sculpture that would decorate new federal buildings. The commissions were awarded competitively. Unlike other cultural programs of the New Deal, the Section’s primary goal was to procure art for public buildings, not to provide work relief.
Ney went to New London to learn as much as possible about the town, its history, and residents. Although Ney favored Modernism, he decided to forego a purely nonobjective design in favor of one that incorporated recognizable places, people, and objects as well as abstractions. A boldly outlined center triangle divides the mural into three sections. The individual sections and the overall mural functions as a montage of images. The triangle’s design, which includes an eye, is reminiscent of the Great Seal of the United State.
Painter and sculptor Lloyd Raymond (“Bill”) Ney) was born in Friedensburg, Pennsylvania, the only child of Sadie Maidenford and William Ney. As a young child he showed a passion for art but had no formal training until he left high school in 1913 to study in Philadelphia and later in Europe at the end of World War I. While studying abroad, he became acquainted with influential Modernist painters, and his style became progressively more abstract throughout the rest of his life. He left Paris in 1925 and moved to New Hope, Pennsylvania, where he joined a thriving community of modernist artists. In 1939, Ney was awarded a commission from the U.S. Department of the Treasury’s Section of Painting and Sculpture (the “Section”) to paint a mural for the New London, Ohio, post office. When upper-level Section officials saw Ney’s preliminary sketches for the mural, they were upset by what they termed his “abstract” style and quickly rejected his design. Ney fought hard for his concept and enlisted the help of the New London community, whose outpouring of support convinced the Section to approve Ney’s design in 1940. The mural was completed and installed in the New London post office in 1941.
Lloyd Ney died in New Hope, Pennsylvania, in 1965.
In 1988 photographer Connie Girard took color and black-and-white images of this mural for an article in "Timeline" magazine (June/July 1989).
View on Ohio Memory.
: AL04497 Subjects
: Ney, Lloyd Raymond, 1893-1965; New London (Ohio); Mural paintings (visual works); Post office buildings--Ohio; United States. Department of the Treasury. Section of Painting and Sculpture; Great Depression and the New Deal Places
: New London (Ohio); Huron County (Ohio)