New Deal Arts Programs – Lessons for Struggling Artists Today

In a piece published in Artnet, Ben Davis, reflects on calls to help distressed art institutes in the aftermath of the COVID-19 pandemic by drawing on the lessons of the New Deal Arts Programs. Davis examines the history of the programs and sets out to dispel a few misconceptions. “Without filling in the nitty-gritty of the history that impelled the United States’s singular experiment with government arts patronage, I get the sense that we are calling people into battle without arming them for the fight.” Read more here.

Artist Allen Saalburg directs WPA artists at the American Museum of Natural History. New York, 1935. (Photo by New York Times Co./Getty Images

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New Deal Maps

Check out our latest map and guide to the work of the New Deal in Washington, D.C. It includes 500 New Deal sites in the District alone, highlighting 34 notable sites, and includes an inset map of the area around the National Mall which can be used for self-guided walking tours.

Take a look at our previous guides, equally comprehensive, covering key New Deal sites in San Francisco and New York City.