"Alabama Agriculture," Constance Ortmayer (1940)

Dublin Core


"Alabama Agriculture," Constance Ortmayer (1940)


Scottsboro, Jackson County, art, public art, sculpture, bas relief, Works Progress Administration, Constance Ortmeyer


Constance Ortmayer was born in New York City in 1902 and graduated from the Royal Academy of Fine Arts at Vienna, Austria. She returned to the United States in 1932 and was teaching art at Rollins College in Florida when she was commissioned to complete two bas relief sculptures for the post offices at Arcadia, Florida and Scottsboro, Alabama.The Arcadia relief was completed in 1939. The Scottsboro relief, Alabama Agriculture, was completed in 1940. Ortmayer said of the Scottsboro piece, "Three phases of cotton growing from the theme of the central panel. On the right the cultivation of the crop is symbolized by the young man working with a hoe among the new plants. Opposite a young woman is depicted picking ripened bolls, and for the background, the processing and shipping of cotton is represented by the bales and the strong figure of a second young worker standing between them. Both of the flanking panels interpret the growing of corn. The young man and woman shown on the right are examining the fruit on the ripened stalks and the couple on the left are represented as workers who have harvested the new crop." The Treasury Section of Fine Arts, who commissioned the piece, wrote of the work, "In a sculpture characterized by clean, flowing lines, Miss Ortmayer gives an exceptionally effective representation of the youthful strength and grace that each new generation brings to the agriculture of the South."


Blake Wilhelm


"Post Office Reliefs:  Scottsboro, Alabama." Alabama Department of Archives and History. 

Davis, Anita Price and Jimmy Emerson.  New Deal Art in Alabama:  The Murals, Sculptures and Other Works, and Their Creators.  McFarland and Company: Jefferson, NC, 2015.


Northeast Alabama Community College Archives and Special Collections




photograph by Jimmy Emerson


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