Joanna Murphy, an artist and muralist based in the Catskills, is putting the finishing touches on a mural at the eastern edge of the Delaware County village of Margaretville that depicts a vintage cauliflower label featuring Rip Van Winkle.
Cauliflower used to be one of the central Catskills' biggest exports, and cauliflower farmers decorated their crates with colorful labels that depicted pastoral scenes and happy country women.
(Until this year, the logo for Pure Catskills, the region's buy local program, was an adaptation of a cauliflower label from the Walton-Hamden Cauliflower Co-op that featured a girl in a red dress. WAC employees call her Fran.)
Murphy at work on the mural on Tuesday, June 2. Photo by Julia Reischel.
Murphy's mural is based on a label for "Rip Van Winkle Brand" cauliflower, which was grown by the Margaretville Cauliflower Growers Cooperative in the mid-20th century. Margaretville was home to a lively cauliflower auction from the 1920s to the 1950s, according to the Historical Society of Middletown.
The mural was commissioned by Peter and Carol Molnar, the owners of the Margaretville Mountain Inn and the founders of the village's annual cauliflower festival.
The mural is located on the side of the Suites on Main building on Main Street. Murphy began work on the mural in October 2014, took a break for the winter, and is now back at work. She plans to finish the mural next week.
Murphy is adapting the original label design, which you can see below, by adding her own touches, including large lettering that read "Welcome to Margaretville."
Above: The label for Rip Van Winkle Brand cauliflower that is serving as a model for Murphy's mural. Photo by Julia Reischel.