Creativity and Conscience

Creativity and Conscience Congress funded the Federal Theatre Project primarily to provide jobs for unemployed theatre people during the Great Depression. But WPA administrator Harry Hopkins and the FTP’s dynamic director Hallie Flanagan had a much broader mission: to create… read more

The New Deal Through the Lens of Arthur Rothstein

President Franklin Roosevelt had a remarkable ability to rally the nation using the mass-communication media of his time. He crafted intimate “Fireside Chats” to reach Americans in their homes by radio, but in this pre-television era FDR also needed compelling… read more

America’s Portfolio

America’s Portfolio Between 1935 and 1943 the WPA’s Federal Art Project hired more than 10,000 artists on “relief.” They produced murals, easel paintings, sculpture, posters, photographs, theater sets and arts and crafts. Though many have been lost, FAP artworks can… read more

The Harlem Renaissance and the New Deal

The Harlem Renaissance stands as one of the most important art movements in American history. The years 1918-1937 saw an outpouring of music, theatre, literature and visual art from this historical Black neighborhood in Upper Manhattan. Federal “relief” dollars employed… read more

Audio Archaeology

Like artifacts from a lost civilization, oral histories conducted by the Archives of American Art (AAA) in 1964-1965 have kept alive the thoughts and memories of New Deal artists, craftspeople and administrators for those of us in their future. The… read more

A Silver Lining

A Silver Lining With the economy in shambles and one in four workers unemployed, FDR appointed Harry Hopkins to come up with programs to provide relief. Public works projects would provide millions of jobs and become the backbone of the… read more