West Virginia at the New York World's Fair

Charleston Daily Mail
March 12, 1939

Nation to See State Panels

Huge World Fair Murals Nearing Completion

West Virginia's recreational opportunities, as well as its historic background and industrial and agricultural developments, are featured in three huge murals painted for exhibit in the West Virginia building at the West Virginia building at the New York World's Fair by W. C. Grauer, director of the Old White Art colony at White Sulphur Springs.

The painted figures conform to the dictates of the law, even though Artist Grauer may have taken some liberties with the scenery. He was very careful to see that the portraits of the fishermen and hunters were displaying West Virginia hunting and fishing licenses.

As an example of artistic liberties, the background of the fishing panel, which constitutes one- third of the recreational mural, appears to be Blackwater Falls; yet the fishermen in the scene will be shown with representatives of practically all the game fish found in West Virginia waters.

The artist made sure that the golfing figure, which appears in the central panel of the sports mural, was swinging "according to Hoyle." The golfing figure is a representation of Sam Snead, West Virginia's contribution to the national links picture, and leading money-winner among the professional golfers in 1938. Artist Grauer has watcher Snead "gun them off" the tee many times at Snead's home course at White Sulphur Springs, but in addition the artist employed photographs to refresh his memory.

The historic-industrial mural is divided, like the other two, into three panels. One of these represents, in colorful fashion, the battle of Point Pleasant in 1774. In the central panel the foreground figures show John Peter Salley (or Salling) and his companions discovering coal in the Kanawha valley in 1742. In the background appear the pioneer Conestoga wagons, the stage coach, the pioneer locomotive and various forms of river transportation, with the giant modern coal industry shown in the remote distance. The third panel in the industrial mural features modern industry in West Virginia with the principal figures representing modern industrial scientists and engineers.

The agricultural mural features in one panel the great West Virginia lumber industry. In the central panel of the agricultural group the state's livestock industry is depicted; while in the third agricultural panel other features of farming, including the West Virginia orchard business, are shown.

Crowds at the New York World's fair will gaze at the giant murals above, which are being prepared for exhibition in the West Virginia building. Painted by W. C. Grauer of White Sulphur Springs, the panels depict the recreational, scenic, industrial and agricultural advantages of the state. Mr. Grauer is shown seated beside a portion of his work.