Date Approved


Degree Type

Open Access Thesis

Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)

Department or School

Geography and Geology

Committee Member

Ted J. Ligibel, Ph.D., Chair

Committee Member

Marshall S. McLennan, Ph.D.

Committee Member

Kelly Elizabeth Simpson, M.S.


The Section of Fine Arts’ Art-in-Architecture program created public and permanent cultural artifacts that expressed and recorded American beliefs, values, and stories for future generations. Many of these artworks have been saved. Sadly, others have been neglected, mistreated, or forgotten. This project focuses on The Section’s post office art installations in Michigan. The Section of Fine Arts, one of FDR’s New Deal programs of the Depression era, operated under the auspices of the Treasury Department. The program utilized symbols of the common man to tie together a nation’s scattered and often isolated communities, to promote a common heritage and purpose, and to relate the past to the present while giving hope for the future. The documentation of these art-in-architecture projects is essential as is the need to conserve them. Although challenging, the effort is vital to insure the survival of these records of an important and distinctive American chapter.