Anita Brenner: WPA Art Critic and Cultural Bridge-Builder

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

Frances Perkins: The Woman behind the New Deal

In 1963, at the age of 83, Frances Perkins gave a series of lectures at UCLA entitled, “Labor Under the New Deal and the New Frontier.” She told her audience that for years after her tenure as FDR’s Secretary of… read more

The Women Who Painted Coit Tower

Just as FDR’s Administration gave Eleanor Roosevelt and Frances Perkins the opportunity to profoundly shape public policy, the New Deal also opened up real and meaningful work for women in the arts.  One place this played out was atop San… read more

Herbert Maier and the Parkitecture of the 1930s

Arts & Crafts architecture—with its emphasis on native materials, skilled workmanship, sensitivity to nature, and indigenous motifs—fell out of fashion after World War I. Revival styles and the rising tide of modernism supplanted it, but so did economics: the craftsmanship… read more