The murals program of the federal government put needy artists to work and offered a vision of hope to communities struggling with the acute economic and social hardships of the Great Depressions of 1934-1943. More than 65 post offices in Texas were decorated with nearly 100 individual murals featuring scenes of local interest, history and industry. Collingsworth County is fortunate to have one of these murals in the Wellington Post Office.
Artist Bernard P.Arnest submitted mural designs to the Amarillo, Texas, Post Office competition and was commissioned in September1939 to produce the mural for the Wellington,Texas, United States Post Office. Arnest determined to show “settlers on the Texas Plains engaged in fundamental activities of opening and using new land: building shelter, sowing, planting.”
The mural was executed in tempera and oil on canvas and installed in 1940, about a year after the contract was signed.
Bernard Arnest was born February 19, 1917, and studied at the Colorado Springs Fine Arts Center from 1935 through 1939. In 1940 he was awarded a Guggenheim Fellowship for creative work in painting. From 1942 through 1945, he was a war artist with the U.S. Army. His teaching experience included Minneapolis School of Art, University of Minnesota and Colorado College where he was head of the art school and professor of art. Often known for genre, figure, marine and graphics, he exhibited throughout the United States. Arnest died in 1986 in Colorado Springs.