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Work of the Week: Manuel Bromberg’s study for Chuck Wagon Serenade mural

Chuck Wagon Serenade
Manuel A. Bromberg’s Chuck Wagon Serenade mural in the U.S. Post Office building in Greybull, Wyoming.

Chuck Wagon Serenade, the mural pictured above, was created by Manuel Bromberg for the U.S. Post Office Building in Greybull, Wyoming. Bromberg came to the Fine Arts Center in the late 1930s to study with Boardman Robinson, whose reputation as a muralist and teacher drew students from all over the country. In 1939, at the age of 23, Bromberg was awarded the Greybull, Wyoming mural commission. This mural was a project of the Section of Fine Arts, a public art program administered by the federal government as part of President Franklin D. Roosevelt’s New Deal. The Section of Fine Arts provided economic opportunities for artists during the Great Depression, frequently in the form of murals commissioned for public buildings.

The FAC collection contains one of Bromberg’s studies for the Greybull mural, offering insight into the artist’s process. Sketches and planning notes are frequently lost to history. The figures of the singing and lounging cowboys are very similar to those that appear in the completed mural. The artist has sketched multiple versions of the cowboy playing harmonica, who is facing away from the viewer in the study but is facing towards the viewer in the completed mural.

Manuel Bromberg, Study for Greybull, Wyoming, Post Office Mural

Bromberg’s study is part of the O Beautiful! Shifting Landscapes of the Pikes Peak Region exhibition featured in the FAC eMuseum. Through 100 years of art in the Pikes Peak region, this exhibition explores a shifting social and artistic landscape. Learn more about the exhibition here: