On Sunday, March 3, 2-4 PM, Doug Leen will speak at the Berkeley Historical Society about WPA Posters of the National Parks
Doug Leen on
“Ranger of the Lost Art: WPA Posters of the National Parks”
The Works Progress Administration, the largest and most ambitious New Deal agency, hired millions of unemployed workers during the Great Depression. The WPA’s Federal Art Project commissioned artists to create murals, photographs, sculpture, paintings and graphic arts, including more than two million posters—many designed and printed on the edge of the Berkeley campus at the Western Museum Laboratory. Only a few thousand of the historic posters survive today.
Doug Leen started Ranger Doug Enterprises as a hobby in 1993 when he began researching and reproducing the WPA’s national park posters to raise funds for Grand Teton National Park, where he spent seven years as a seasonal ranger. Now living in the backcountry of Alaska, “Ranger Doug” will discuss the WPA’s iconic park posters—their creation, loss, rediscovery and the role of public art and infrastructure in America today. He will be introduced by Harvey Smith, local Berkeley New Deal expert and co-curator of the current exhibit at the History Center.
John Aronovici will display artwork by and photographs of his mother, Elizabeth Ginno, at work for the WPA at the Western Museum Laboratory and at the World’s Fair on Treasure Island in 1940.
Ranger Doug will offer for sale reproductions of the WPA National Park Posters in various sizes and formats, with a portion of the proceeds benefiting the Berkeley Historical Society.