Cochran, GA -- Post Office Art

"As you enter the Cochran Post Office, you will notice on the right-hand wall a sculpture, or frieze to be more exact, of a bare-footed farmer carrying a pig under each arm. The Postal authorities commissioned Ilse Erytheobel of New York to perform the work before the new post office opened in 1939. She came to Cochran and disussed suitable local subjects with Postmaster J. A. Walker. When Cochranites first saw the sculpture, they found the subject appropriate for a town famous for pure-bred hogs but disliked the execution. How can you carry a pig under your arm?"
-- Dr. Bernadette Loftin, from a local radio spot (used by Dr. Loftin's kind permission)

In another published piece, Dr. Loftin tells that this frieze (approx. 4' x 4' and located six or seven feet up the post office wall) was a Works Progress Administration (WPA) commisioned work (from the era when the federal government provided work for artists and writers). Although hog farming was a cornerstone of the Cochran economy in the early part of the century, some town residents were and still are offended by the primitive style and content of this piece, but others are proud and delighted to have the "Pig Man" greet them when they walk into the Post Office.


I still don't know a proper title for this work, so for the time being I'm just referring to it as "The Pig Man." If you have any further information about it or about the sculptor Ilse Erytheobel (I know she was born in San Francisco in 1911), please e-mail me at All comments are welcome.

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