Image Courtesy of Willie Allen. Used with the permission of the United States Postal ServiceŽ. All rights reserved.
Artist:Ludwig Mactarian (1910- )
Title:Cotton Growing, Manufacture and Export
Dimensions: 12 ft. x 4 ft. 6 in.
Medium:oil on canvas
Location:Dardanelle Post Office, located at 103 North Front Street, Dardanelle, Arkansas.
About the Mural:Ludwig Mactarian was commissioned for $660 to create a mural for Dardanelle, Arkansas on the basis of merit of the design in the San Antonio, Texas Competition. Mactarian was unable to visit Dardanelle due to financial restrictions. He thus relied on images he found in the New York Public Library and on correspondence with Dardanelle.s postmaster, Joe D. Gault. From these sources, Mactarian was able to compose a mural that portrayed the importance of cotton within the Dardanelle community.
Mural at the time of installation. National Archives, Washington, D.C.
The central theme of the mural is a cotton field where men are busily picking and a man with a huge basket on his shoulder is taking the cotton to be weighed. In the far background are a train and a truck which will transport the cotton to the factories where it will be woven into cloth. At the left is an indoor factory scene and at the right baled cotton is being loaded onto a ship for transportation throughout the world.
About the Artist: Ludwig Mactarian was born in Armenia in 1910 and raised in Smyrna, Asia Minor - today.s Izmar, Turkey. At the age of ten, Mactarian immigrated to the United States with his family. The artist spent his formative years in New York, surrounded by the emerging modern art scene. He studied painting at the National Academy of Design and learned printmaking and lithography at the Art Students League in New York under William Von Schlegelle, Charles Locke, and George Picken. Mactarian also collaborated with George Picken to create the Hudson Falls, New York Post Office Murals, as well as worked with Reginald Marsh to create murals for the New York Custom House. He exhibited work at a number of museums and galleries around the United States including the Los Angeles Museum, the Corcoran Gallery of Art, Pennsylvania Academy, and the American Contemporary Artists (ACA) Gallery of New York.
About the Location: Dardanelle, in Yell County, was incorporated as the second county seat in 1843. Yell county created on December 5, 1840 and named after Archibald Yell, the first member of the United States House of Representatives from Arkansas and the second state governor. In the late 1930s, Dardanelle was a shipping and trading center. Its industries included Cotton, Cotton Seed Oil, Hardwood Mills, Box & Handle factories. Cotton was later replaced by soybeans as the principal crop.