Depression Era Art

  • Federal works programs associated with the WPA, including the Federal Arts Project, helped fund art projects throughout the Depression. Paintings and sculpture produced in this era, whether financed by one of the federal programs or not, have come to be called "WPA art." In Tuesday's show we look at some of this production, including works that were specially commissioned by the Federal Arts Project, and we'll consider the impact this Depression era art has had on the artitsts in their later work and on the generations of artists who followed. This was the period of the American Scene artists, such as Thomas Hart Benton, and I feel that some of this work laid the groundwork for that great period of Abstract Expressionism in the late 1940's that made New York the center of the art world (a place it still holds). There was some art that seemed not to conform to the new idiom, and we'll consider examples of these, as well. Also, a few months ago I did a show entitled, "Deco Design: It Doesn't Have to Be Expensive" (it's in the Videos section), and in Tuesday's show we will try to place the "high art" in the context of 1930's design, so I do have some '30's design pieces to discuss. Hope everyone can join us in the chat room, Tuesday, at the usual time, 5PM PST, 6PM MST, 7PM CST, 8PM EST. Gary