Marion, Iowa WPA Era Fresco Move and Restoration

In 1939 Marion, Iowa built a new post office. Inside, Dan Rhodes, a student of Grant Wood, painted a fresco mural.

Throughout the years the building transformed from the post office into city hall and finally when the city outgrew the building, a nearby business purchased it. However, the business was not ready to take on the responsibility of protecting and preserving the mural.

Barnes Manufacturing helped implement a plan to cut out the wall with the mural on it, secure it, and move it to the Marion Heritage Center for all to love and appreciate for years to come. We were extremely proud to play a large role in the move and reassemble of the mural as well as the art restoration and deliver on results the whole community can enjoy.

WPA-era fresco move

Protected Works Progress Era Fresco moves out of storage

A crane loads the fresco on to a flatbed for transport.

Securing the artwork to a movable dolly, the Barnes team readies it for its new home.

Inching its way into the new space, the team maneuvers the fresco up the steps.

Erection to the wall required a custom scaffolding manufactured by Barnes.

congratulations in marion iowa

A successful team shares congrats. Tony Rajer, Tom Barnes, Vic Klopfenstein & Roy Jordan.

The protective layers start to come off, nerves heighten to see what a year in storage has done to the fresco!