Stuart Purser Mural, Carrollton, AL



Stuart Purser Mural, Carrollton, AL


Mural painting and decoration, American
Carrollton, Alabama--History
Purser, Stuart R., 1907-1986
Bankhead, William B. (1844-1940)
United States Post Offices


The Carrollton, Alabama, Post Office and Agriculture Building was built in 1940 and is still in use as the post office today. It has a mural entitled “Farm Scene with Senator Bankhead” painted in 1943 by Stuart R. Purser. Senator William B. Bankhead (1874-1940) was the father of actress Tallulah Bankhead.

Stuart Purser was born in Arkansas but grew up in Louisiana. Despite his father’s wish that he become a medical doctor, Purser chose the life as an artist. With a bachelor of arts degree from Louisiana College in Pineville, he left for Chicago and the Chicago School of Arts with $14 in his pocket. He worked as many as four jobs at one time to graduate from the art school.

He taught for a year in Washington State before returning to Louisiana to head the art program at Louisiana College.

After returning to the South, Stuart painted four murals located in the states of Louisiana, Mississippi and Alabama. These were done during the Depression and funded by the U.S. Government Treasury Department to enhance public buildings. They focused on local themes.

The mural in Carrollton included the U.S. House Speaker William B. Bankhead who had helped secure funds for the project. Other murals are in post offices in Gretna. La., Leland, Ms., and Ferriday, La. The Gretna mural portrays steamboat river traffic in New Orleans. The other two feature the economy of cotton production in the South. The Leland mural shows wagons carrying cotton to the gin; the Ferriday mural shows people working the cotton gins.

Over the years, Purser taught at several universities, retiring in 1975. He died in 1986.


Betty Slowe


Jan. 22, 2016


Betty Slowe (Description)






Pickens County (AL)

Original Format