American WPA Era Art

New Deal Art


This section of the Traditional Fine Arts Organization (TFAO) catalogue Topics in American Art is devoted to the topic American Works Progress Administration "WPA Era Art" and "New Deal Art." Articles and essays specific to this topic published in TFAO's Resource Library are listed at the beginning of the section. Clicking on titles takes readers directly to the articles and essays. The date at the end of each title is the date of publication in Resource Library.

Following the listing of Resource Library articles and essays is the heading "TFAO references." Periodically TFAO conducts keyword searches from the Resource Library homepage relating to this topic. The count of pages within Resource Library citing the keywords indicates breadth of coverage in Resource Library for this topic. We recommend that researchers always search within Resource Library for additional material. Please see TFAO's page How to research topics not listed for more information.

After "TFAO references" are links to online resources found outside the TFAO website. Online resources are gathered from TFAO catalogues. Following online resources is information about offline resources including museums, DVDs, and paper-printed books, journals and articles. Our goal is to present complete knowledge relating to this section of Topics in American Art.

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Articles and essays from Resource Library in chronological order:


TFAO references:

A 4/15/13 search within the TFAO digital library retrieved 279 pages referencing the acronym "WPA."

A 9/15/14 search within the TFAO digital library retrieved 189 pages referencing the phrase "New Deal."


From other websites:


Online videos:

The American Art channel of ArtBabble as of August, 2009 included "1934: A New Deal for Artists" from Smithsonian American Art Museum [0:30:32]

From the Library of Congress, By the People, For the People: Posters from the WPA, 1936-1943 -- American Memory includes as of 2013 a section on special presentations including Interview with WPA Silkscreen Artist Tony Velonis from a December, 1994 symposium on the WPA titled "Amassing American Stuff: The New Deal Arts Collections of the Library of Congress." The online interview with master silkscreen printer Anthony (Tony) Velonis took place at that time as one of several in-depth interviews with notable figures of the WPA projects. (description from LOC web site)

From the Museum of International Folk Art, the online exhibition Sin Nombre: Hispana and Hispano Artists of the New Deal Era includes as of 2013 the curator's video introduction of the exhibition.

Oceanside Museum of Art WPA Depression-era art from KPBS

Post Office Art and Architecture in Central PA Blinks says: "Produced by WVIA-TV, this 2 minute trailer promotes film called "New Deal Legacy" that features unique post office art and architecture in Lewisburg, Selinsgrove, Mifflinburg, Northumberland, Milton, Bellefonte, Danville, Bloomsburg, Williamsport and Renovo."

Weisman Art Museum's 'New Deal' Blinks says: "The Weisman Art Museum is presenting about 1,000 paintings, prints and murals from New Deal-era artists (2:30)."


DVD or VHS videos:

Artists at Work: The New Deal Art Projects Describes visual arts programs developed in 1935--43 by the U. S. government to support American artists during the Depression. 35-minute video. Description source: Amon Carter Museum Teacher Resource Center. The Museum contains a comprehensive lending library including many videos. TFAO wishes to extend appreciation to Katherine Moloney, Teaching and Visual Resources Coordinator, for acquainting TFAO with the Museum's collection. Available through Las Positas College Library.
Promises Kept: WPA Art Treasures of New Mexico [26:32] In small towns across New Mexico are treasures from one of New Mexico's great artistic periods. For years they have been hidden away in schools, post offices and court houses. Promises Kept rediscovers our WPA artistic heritage by interviewing some of the remaining WPA artists such as Pablita Velarde and by looking closely at the artists and artworks themselves. The goal: to form a new respect, appreciation and to help preserve this treasures for generations to come. Funded in part by New Mexico Arts, a division of the Office of Cultural Affairs and the National Endowment for the Arts and the National New Deal Art Restoration Task Force. Orginally broadcast on New Mexico PBS station KNME. View the video in it's entirety here. View Part 1 [07:20], Part 2 [10:25], Part 3 [07:55]

TFAO does not maintain a lending library of videos or sell videos. Click here for information on how to borrow or purchase copies of VHS videos and DVDs listed in TFAO's Videos -DVD/VHS, an authoritative guide to videos in VHS and DVD format



The New Deal for Artists, by Richard D. McKinzie. (Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press, 1973)

Works Progress Administration's Alaska Art Project, 1937: a retrospective exhibition, by Lynn K. Binek, Karl Eugene Fortess, Merlin F. Pollock, Anchorage Museum of History and Art, Alaska State Museum, University of Alaska Museum, Anchorage Museum of History and Art. Published by Anchorage Museum of History and Art, 1987. Exhibition at Anchorage Museum of History and Art, May 10-Aug. 31, 1987, University of Alaska Museum, Oct. 31-Dec. 13, 1987 and Alaska State Museum Jan. 28-Mar. 3, 1988. 47 pages. Source: Google Books


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