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Monticello WPA Bas-Relief Mural

Berta Margoulies was commissioned for $750 to create this mural, Tomato Culture, as part of the WPA post office art project. Margoulies's method of sculpting differed from the more usual techniques. Generally, an original model was copied in another material such as stone or bronze. These reliefs, however, were modeled directly in terra cotta clay and then fired in a kiln. The mural is comprised of three bas-reliefs of unglazed terra cotta illustrating tomato culture. In the large central relief, preparation of the soil is suggested by the man and two mules. In the smaller flanking reliefs, one show a woman picking tomatoes, with the plant used as a decorative motif, while the other shows a male figure with baskets of picked fruit ready for market. Despite some alterations over time, the structure retains sufficient integrity for listing in the National Register of Historic Places.   It is now located at the offices of the Monticello Economic Development Commission.

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211 W. Gaines Street, Monticello, Arkansas