O. Louis Guglielmi completed a mural, entitled “One Third of a Nation,” in 1939 with funds provided by the Works Progress Administration. It was given by the WPA to the Metropolitan Museum of Art in 1943. “The title of this work references President Franklin D. Roosevelt’s 1937 inaugural address, in which he proclaimed, ‘I see one-third of a nation ill-housed, ill-clad, ill-nourished.’ ‘One Third of a Nation’ is also the title of Arthur Arent’s 1938 play, which emphasized the plight of the poor and was funded by the WPA’s Federal Theatre Project. In this painting Guglielmi draws attention to the horrid living conditions during the Great Depression. The forms in the foreground resemble coffins, and subsequently suggest a similar reading of the brick tenements behind them. The floral wreath adorning the building’s cornice reinforces this metaphor.”
In 1938, Jacob Lawrence completed a mural, entitled “Blind Beggars,” for the WPA. It was given to the Metropolitan Museum of Art in 1943, courtesy of the WPA. “Showing a visually impaired couple walking down a sidewalk surrounded by frolicking children, Blind Beggars exhibits Lawrence’s characteristic concern for social issues. ”
In 1939, Loren MacIver completed the mural, entitled “Carey’s Backyard,” with funds provided by the WPA. It was given by the WPA to the Met in 1943.
In 1939, Morris Neuwirth completed the mural, entitled “Saturday Night,” with funds provided by the WPA. It was given by the WPA to the Met in 1943.
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