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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