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Lucile E. Blanch, née Lundquist, (December 31, 1895 – October 31, 1981), was an American painter and Guggenheim Fellow. She was noted for her murals, commissioned by the government during the Depression years of the 1930’s to create a more uplifting environment.

Lucile Blanch
Lucile Blanch portrait.jpg
Blanch in 1930
Lucile E. Lundquist

(1895-12-31)December 31, 1895
DiedOctober 31, 1981(1981-10-31) (aged 85)
EducationMinneapolis School of Art
Known forPainting



Lucile E. Blanch was born in 1895 in Hawley, Minnesota to Charles E. and May E. Lundquist. She was variously known as Lucille Blanch, Lucile Lunquist Blanch, Lucile Lundquist-Blanch, and Lucille Lundquist-Blanch.

She studied at the Minneapolis School of Art with her future husband Arnold Blanch, and other notable artists like Harry Gottlieb and Adolf Dehn. From 1918, she studied on a scholarship under Boardman Robinson, as part of the Art Students League of New York.[1] She also studied with artists like Kenneth Hayes Miller, Frank Vincent DuMond and Frederick R. Gruger.[2]

While in New York, she married her husband, Arnold Blanch, and they traveled to France to continue their art studies.[1] They later moved to Woodstock, New York where they helped build the Woodstock Art colony. They divorced in 1935.[3] She was friends with Eugenie Gershoy, who sculpted her at work.[4]

She received the Guggenheim Fellowship in 1933,[5][6] and from that point on her art was collected and was shown in a number of important galleries, notably the Whitney Museum.[7][8] She died in 1981 in Kingston, New York.


Murals were produced from 1934 to 1943 in the United States through the Section of Painting and Sculpture, later called the Section of Fine Arts, of the Treasury Department. The murals were intended to boost the morale of the American people suffering from the effects of the Depression by depicting uplifting subjects the people knew and loved. Murals were commissioned through competitions open to all artists in the United States.[9] Almost 850 artists were commissioned to paint 1371 murals, most of which were installed in post offices.[10] 162 of the artists were women. The murals were funded as a part of the cost of the construction of new post offices, with 1% of the cost set aside for artistic enhancements.[10]

In 1938 Lucile Blanch painted an oil on canvas WPA commissioned mural titled ''Osceola Holding Informal Court with His Chiefs in the United States post office in Fort Pierce, Florida. The mural is on display at Fort Pierce City Hall.[11] In the town of Appalachia, Virginia, she painted the mural Appalachia, also oil on canvas in 1940.[12] The tempera mural, Rural Mississippi-from Early Days to Present was completed in 1941 for the Tylertown, Mississippi post office. In addition, she painted murals in the post offices of Flemingsburg, Kentucky and Sparta, Georgia.[13] The Flemingsburg mural was completed in 1943 as an oil on canvas, titled Crossing to the Battle of Blue Licks,[14] while the Sparta post office project consisted of three panels. The oils on canvas depicted an antebellum plantation house, the granite quarry near Sparta and the third showed local Hancock County scenery.[15] Blanch was one of the few artists who actually painted WPA murals in the same town for which the work was commissioned and accepted input from local residents prior to the painting process.


Blanch began her career focusing on realist subjects, but she increasingly became an abstractionist.[8]



  1. ^ a b "Lucile Blanch Show a Total Retrospective". Kingston, New York: Kingston Daily Freeman. August 7, 1971. p. 27. Retrieved May 6, 2016.
  2. ^ "Lucile Blanch/American Art". Smithsonian Art Museum. Retrieved January 21, 2015.
  3. ^ Ann Lee Morgan (June 27, 2007). "Blanch, Arnold". The Oxford Dictionary of American Art and Artists. Oxford University Press. p. 48. ISBN 978-0-19-802955-7. Retrieved July 19, 2013.
  4. ^ "Lucile Blanch by Eugenie Gershoy / American Art". Retrieved July 26, 2013.
  5. ^ "Lucile Blanch - John Simon Guggenheim Memorial Foundation". August 22, 1933. Retrieved July 26, 2013.
  6. ^ "Biography for Lucile Blanch".
  7. ^ "Lucile Blanch". Papillon Gallery. Retrieved March 16, 2011.
  8. ^ a b Crump, Robert (2009). "Lucile Lunquist Blanch". Minnesota prints and printmakers, 1900-1945. Minnesota Historical Society. p. 62. ISBN 978-0-87351-635-8.
  9. ^ Rediscovering the People's Art: New Deal Murals in Pennsylvania’s Post Offices". Pennsylvania Historical and Museum Commission: 2014.
  10. ^ a b University of Central Arkansas. "Arkansas Post Office Murals".
  11. ^ "Florida WPA Art". Retrieved December 16, 2014.
  12. ^ "Browse New Deal projects by State and City". Living New Deal. Retrieved December 15, 2014.
  13. ^ Fazio, Michael W.; Parrish, William E.; Blackwell, Tomas; Franks, Curtis (October 1, 1979). "Four Building Act of 1926 Post Offices and Thirty-Two Public Works Administration Post Offices "Mississippi Post Offices Thematic Resources, 1931-1941."" (PDF). National Park Service. Starkville, Mississippi: United States Department of the Interior. p. 11. Retrieved May 6, 2016.
  14. ^ "Post Office Mural-Flemingsburg KY". Living New Deal. Berkeley, California: University of California. 2016. Retrieved May 6, 2016.
  15. ^ "Mercer's Artist in Residence" (PDF). Macon, Georgia: The Mercer Cluster. April 30, 1965. p. 3. Retrieved May 6, 2016.