The City of Hopkins is excited to announce the sale of a limited number of prints of an important historic artwork.
"The Cultivation of Raspberries" by David Granahan once graced the walls of the Hopkins Post Office. But when the post office was demolished in 1972, much of the artwork was destroyed. A 4 ½ foot by 11 ½ foot section was rescued and eventually donated to the Frederick R. Weisman Art Museum at the University of Minnesota. The story goes like this…
In 1972, the Hopkins Post Office at 19 Ninth Avenue South was slated to be demolished to make way for an urban renewal project south of Mainstreet. Shortly before the demolition date, city manager Terry Novak suggested that an inspection of the vacant building might uncover some items of historic, community interest that could be salvaged. City official Jerre Miller and Hopkins Historical Society member Jim Shirley joined Novak one Saturday afternoon to survey the building.
A mural that lined the upper portion of the lobby caught the attention of the three men. Created by artist David Granahan in 1936, the mural depicted the truck-farming plots that had surrounded Hopkins at that time. It had been commissioned as part of President Roosevelt’s Works Progress Administration.
Lacking any appropriate tools, let alone knowledge of how to remove and protect the fabric upon which the artwork was done, Novak, Miller, and Shirley used an ice scraper and an old snow shovel to peel the material from the plaster wall. While not exactly a curator’s technique, the three agreed that any damage done would be infinitely less than what the wreckers would inflict in the coming days. After the mural was removed, the fledgling Hopkins Historical Society had no place to store the piece, so it was casually stored in a stairwell at City Hall until the Historical Society donated it to the Frederick R. Weisman Art Museum at the University of Minnesota.
The City of Hopkins purchased the reproduction rights in 2011 from the Weisman for a limited printing of the image. This depiction represents a small portion of the mural, the entire mural was wider than 100 feet.
The Hopkins City Council will be presenting Mr. Miller and Mr. Shirley with the first and second prints of the image at the Hopkins City Council meeting on July 19, 2011 as a thank you for their foresight.
The following are the items that are available and prices:
The prints and cards are available at Hopkins City Hall and through the City’s online store.
For more information, please contact Kersten Elverum, Director of Planning & Development, at 952-548-6340.