Frances Perkins: The Woman behind the New Deal

U.S. Labor Secretary Frances Perkins, Time Magazine Cover, August 14, 1933

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

Detail, “Hunting in California,” 1934, Coit Tower mural by Edith Hamiin

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

NPS logo, Maier imprint on the Park Service includes the design of the arrowhead logo.

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

Photographing New Deal Utopias

Mural, Greenhills, Ohio, 2009

Among the various New Deal programs to help displaced farmers and the urban poor was the Resettlement Administration’s plan to construct new communities called Greenbelt Towns. These towns were a utopian model of modern living envisioned by RA administrator Rexford G…. read more

A New Deal Muralist’s Work Lives On

Starfish, Hiler Mural Detail

Denied admission to art colleges, Hilaire Hiler left Rhode Island for Paris in 1919 where he opened a legendary nightclub. At the Jockey Club, the first after-hours club in the Montparnasse District, Hiler painted the walls with colorful murals, and… read more