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 Eldora Pauline Lorenzini  (1910 - 1993)

About: Eldora Pauline Lorenzini
 

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Lived/Active: Colorado/Nebraska      Known for: painting, design, illustration, murals, teaching

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This biography from the Archives of AskART:
Eldora Lorenzini was a Colorado-born illustrator, designer, painter and art teacher. She studied at the Colorado State Teachers College in Greeley and then earned a Master's Degree from Yale School of Fine Arts. She also studied at the Colorado Springs Fine Arts Center with Boardman Robinson, George Biddle, Peppino Mangravite and Henry Varnum Poor.  While at the Center, she worked with Frank Mechau and other students on the local post office mural, and on Mechau's mural for the Washintong DC Post Office.

Lorenzini had employment with the WPA Federal Art Project's Index of American Design, which was documentation by making detailed paintings of decorative and folk arts. 

A part of the Treasury Relief Art Project (TRAP), she completed a mural for the Post Office in Hebron, Nebraska. It was titled Stampeding Buffaloes Stopping the Train, and unique in that using hues of brown and gold, she matched the color of the buffalo hides to the wood framing of the Postmaster's office doorway.  The scene, supposedly based on actual historical event in the area is running buffalo on the plains threatening a moving coal-engine train on nearby tracks.  "Like many of the historical murals dealing with westward movement, the mural was 'symbolic of the conflict in which the wilderness gives way to civilization.' " (52)  Historians, however, have discounted the subject based in fact because trains did not run near Hebron until 1894, and by then, buffalo herds were gone from the plains.

Having submitted sketches for embellishment of the new Department of Interior Building in Washington DC, she was selected for the Hebron mural based on those sketches.  However, she was required to do much refining before the final sketch was selected including de-emphasizing the obvious sex of the male buffalos. In this 'fine-tuning' process, she conferred with Boardman Robinson and Henry Varnum Poor, and  finally, after much correspondence and revised submissions, she saw her mural installed in 1939, and Lorenzini was paid her contract fee of $670.00. It was the only mural she did for TRAP, and she went on to become an illustrator, designer and teacher.

Memberships included the Denver Art Guild and the Colorado Springs Fine Art Center, where she also exhibited in 1936 and had a solo exhibition in 1939.

Sources:
Rorbert Puchendorf, Nebraska's Post Office Murals
Peter Hastings Falk, Editor, Who Was Who in American Art


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