Is there anything more bold and boosterish than art from the American public works regime? This traveling exhibit, 1934: A New Deal for Artists — now at the New York State Museum — contains works created during the Great Depression with the support of the Public Works of Art Project, the first U.S. government program to support the arts nationally. (Above: Valley Farms, Ross Dickinson, 1934 / Below: Charles F. Quest, The Builders, 1934)
Curated by the Smithsonian American Art Museum, the exhibit encompasses works done during the period when President Franklin D. Roosevelt put in place New Deal programs to trigger economic recovery, a plan which also embraced artists. (Below: Subway, Lily Furedi)
The program was meant to help out-of-work professional artists by paying them to capture “the American Scene” in works that would embellish public buildings. Artists painted regional, recognizable subjects that reminded the public of quintessential American values such as hard work and optimism.
- ‘A New Deal’ exhibit opens at State Museum (timesunion.com)