Friday Night Gallery Chat, WPA Kept The Arts Alive During The Depression

“A Pale Green Mermaid Blog”


Hello,  The WPA was a government sponsored program atarted during the depression to create jobs not unlike the current stimulus program, except the WPA was much larger and lasted for a longer period of time.   President Franklin D. Roosevelt included the Arts within this program.

Now technically it is not a movement but it inspired a plethora of art that was tinted with the focus of the times.  And I think it was the precursor for the  National Endowment for the Arts which President John Kennedy promoted during his during his brief Administration.

Art of all kinds was viewed By the Roosevelt administration as equal –not above or below any other type of employment.  To me, this one of the truest aspects of art production which sometimes today is forgotten or denied.

 WPA Silkscreen

 WPA Art Project

 WPA Art Project

WPA Art Project



What images do you think will be created from this time of turmoil?

Go ahead, make some art tonight,

Have a rain-less night! 



The Federal Art Project(FAP) was the visual arts arm of the Great Depression-era New DealWPA Federal One program in the United States. It operated from August 29, 1935 until June 30, 1943. Reputed to have created more than 200,000 separate works, FAP artists created posters, murals and paintings; some of which stand among the most significant pieces of public artin the country.      FROM WIKIPEDIA

The Works Progress Administration (renamed in 1939 to the Work Projects Administration; WPA) was the largest New Deal agency, employing millions of people and affecting almost every locality in the United States, especially rural and western mountain populations. It was created by Franklin Deleanor Roosevelt’s presidential order, and funded by Congress with passage of the Emergency Relief Appropriation Act of 1935 on April 8, 1935. (The legislation had passed in the House by a margin of 329 to 78, but got bogged down in the Senate.)[1]            FROM WIKIPEDIA

The National Endowment for the Arts (NEA) is an independent agency of the United States federal government that offers support and funding for projects exhibiting artistic excellence.[1] It was created by an act of the U.S. Congress in 1965 as an independent agency of the federal government. Its current Acting Chairman is Patrice Walker Powell; Broadway theatre producer Rocco Landesman has been nominated to be the next permanent chairman.[2] The NEA has its offices in the Old Post Office building, in Washington, D.C. It was awarded Tony Honors for Excellence in Theatre in 1995.  FROM WIKIPEDIA

President John F. Kennedy: Remarks at Amherst College, October 26, 1963

The following is an excerpt from a speech given by President John F. Kennedy on October 26, 1963 at Amherst College in Massachusetts, in honor of the poet Robert Frost. Frost had died in January of that year. In this speech, President Kennedy made clear the need for a nation to represent itself not only through its strength but also through its art and as he said, “full recognition of the place of the artist.” Two years later, President Lyndon Johnson signed the National Foundation on the Arts and the Humanities Act, creating The National Endowment for the Arts.  Text courtesy of the John F. Kennedy Library and the U.S. National Archives



1 Comment

Filed under Art

One response to “Friday Night Gallery Chat, WPA Kept The Arts Alive During The Depression

  1. Pingback: MadSilence

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s