Image Courtesy of Willie Allen. Used with the permission of the United States Postal ServiceŽ. All rights reserved.
Artist:Henry Simon (1901-1995)
Title: Wildlife Conservation in Arkansas
Medium: oil on canvas
Location: DeQueen Post Office located at 105 North 4th Street, DeQueen, Arkansas
About the Mural:Henry Simon was commissioned $750 to create a mural for De Queen, Arkansas on the basis of competent designs submitted in the San Francisco, California, Post Office, Ricon Annex, Mural Competition. His initial sketch comprised a logging scene, however, this composition was discarded when the town expressed concern that Simon was focusing one only one of the areas many industries. Instead, of attempting to incorporate all of the communities facets of production, Simon chose to compose a scene depicting the local wildlife of the area.
The mural at the time of installation. National Archives, Washington, D.C.
The mural illustrates a scene of wildlife conservation in Arkansas. It depicts a typical woodland landscape with wildlife native to the area of DeQueen. In the foreground of the mural are quail, wild turkey, squirrel, a raccoon, blue heron, and deer. In the center are two men restocking a local stream with fish. In the back, left of center, stands a solitary stag. The lumbering industry is addressed via the logs dotting the far banks of the river and the fire lookout in the extreme background.
About the Artist:Henry Simon was born in Plock, Poland, November 10, 1901, and immigrated to the United States in 1905. At the Art Institute of Chicago, he studied under Carl Hoeckner, one of his most influential instructors and also studied fresco painting with Edward Millman. Simon published cartoons for local Chicago newspapers and exhibited work at the Chicago John Reeds Club. Under the patronage of the Illinois Arts Project, he executed paintings for McKendree College in Lebanon, Illinois and the Cook County Hospital in Chicago, he also taught fresco painting at Hull House, Chicago.
About the Location:DeQueen, in Sevier County, was incorporated as the county seat in 1921. It is named after Jan de Goeijen, a Dutch coffee merchant whose generous donations assisted in the completion of the Kansas City Southern Railroad that passed through DeQueen. De Goeijen's name (pronounced 'duh HOY en') was difficult for locals to articulate so they eventually simplified it to DeQueen. In the 1940s, DeQueen housed a wide range of industries, ranging from fruit and poultry raising to dairy farming and lumbering. Today the community has both a poultry processing and wood treating plant and manufactures more chain saws than any other town in the world.