Murals at Kansas Aviation Museum to be restored

Posted on Tue, Feb. 05, 2013

By Beccy Tanner
The Wichita Eagle

The Felix Jones Murals, which were unveiled at the Kansas Aviation Museum last month, are scheduled to be restored.

The murals will be restored through a donation from Russell and Ilene Bomhoff, local KAM supporters. On Monday, Peggy Van Witt of Van Witt Fine Art Conservation in Overland Park began the restoration work which is expected to be completed on Friday.

The murals will be back on public display beginning on Saturday during the museum’s regular hours, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.

In 1933, the 25-year-old artist, Charles Felix Jones was inspired when he went to the then new post office — now the Federal Court Building — in downtown Wichita.

The massive walls were blank, void of any art.

He proposed painting two murals depicting the march of transportation.

He petitioned area civic groups asking for support — and got it through the Exchange Club. The Works Progress Administration and the National Recovery Administration provided funding for the Jones Murals.

But when Jones completed the paintings and presented them to the post office, they were rejected by locals who complained the WPA and the National Recover Administration were socialist and in conflict with the American free market system.

For the next eight decades, the murals were placed in storage or were hard for the public to access them.

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