Rediscovering Arthur Rothstein’s “Photo Stories”

Eddie Mitchel billboard Equal Justice for All v2 for Look June 1940

My dad, Arthur Rothstein (1915-1985) was the first photographer hired by the Farm Security Administration, the New Deal agency that pioneered the use of photographs and “photo stories” to build public and political support for federal relief programs. Starting in… read more

Victory for Berkeley’s Historic Post Office

Bas Relief

Preservation activists in Berkeley, California, worked for years to protect their city’s historic core. In 1998, they achieved National Register of Historic Places status for a 5-block area encompassing the New Deal-era Civic Center Park and 13 buildings—the Beaux Arts-style… read more

Reviving the New Deal’s Lost History in New York City

Triborough Bridge. The massive project connected Manhattan, Queens and the Bronx with funds from the Public Works Administration.

  The eerie absence of historic signage marking the New Deal’s achievements in New York City is striking, especially given the city’s favored status as a recipient of New Deal funding. Between 1936 and 1937, the Works Progress Administration (WPA)… read more

Rivera Masterpiece to SFMOMA for 2020 Retrospective

The San Francisco Museum of Modern Art (SFMOMA) and the City College of San Francisco (CCSF) have announced plans to display Diego Rivera’s massive mural, “Pan American Unity,” at a major exhibition of the artist’s work in 2020. The mural is… read more

Anita Brenner: WPA Art Critic and Cultural Bridge-Builder

Society Freed Through Justice, 1936, by George Biddle

Born in Mexico in 1905, Anita Brenner, a Jewish American writer and intellectual, lived her life on both sides of the border. Educated in Mexico and the U.S., Brenner explicated Mexican culture to Americans, offering an antidote to the biases… read more

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