A Window into New Deal Administration

Recently, Living New Deal Research Associate Andrew Laverdiere discovered a yearbook chronicling the work of the Maine Emergency Relief Administration (MERA) in 1934. Loaded with detailed breakdowns of how relief was administered, the structural organization of the Emergency Relief Administration, and expenditures… read more

Working Together

With good reason, histories of the New Deal have emphasized the failure of its programs to overcome the traditional barriers of race, ethnicity, and gender in American life. The New Deal revolutionized many aspects of US society and politics, but not its racial order. Indeed,… read more

Uncovering California’s New Deal Art

Catalogue from 1976 Exhibition on New Deal Art in California

A daring exhibition at the University of Santa Clara in 1976 began the rediscovery of a buried civilization then itself only forty years in the past. “New Deal Art: California,” a six-month exhibition at the De Saisset Gallery, pulled out of storage… read more

A Cosmopolitan New Deal

The muralists of the New Deal are often perceived as being provincial and isolationist because their works celebrate “American values,” and depict a nation that is often rural, in a figurative style. Yet, many artists were internationally-minded and their realism was… read more

San Francisco Zoo Artworks a Legacy of WPA Women

Mosaic “Children and Their Animal Friends,” by Esther, Helen, and Margaret Bruton

Designed by noted architect George W. Kelham and completed in 1925, the Mothers Building was for years a refuge for women and their children visiting the San Francisco Zoo. The mosaics and murals— all by women artists hired by the… read more

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