Museum and Science Center Indian Arts Project – Rochester NY

Project type: Art Works
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Description

In 1936, with funding from the Works Progress Administration (WPA), Vera Achen painted the background to an exhibit for the “Seneca Collection” at the Rochester Museum of Arts and Sciences (now the Rochester Museum and Science Center, RMSC). Most of the works produced for the project are still held at the museum’s collections. More information is needed, however, to establish the status and exact location of Vera Achen’s painting today.

The WPA photograph caption states that the exhibit for which Achen painted the background, was intended to depict “a Seneca Indian village group” (WPA).

From 1935 to 1941, the Rochester Museum of Arts and Sciences , under the direction of Arthur C. Parker, initiated what it refers to as its “WPA/Indian Arts Project.” The museum’s website highlights its “Seneca Collection” which is part of the project (RMSC)

“With federal funds available through the Works Progress Administration…The program employed people of Tonawanda and Cattaraugus Reservations to recreate the objects of their everyday lives, giving jobs to the Senecas and building a collection for the Museum” (RMSC).

 

Source notes

National Archives and Records Administration, Negative 1591
National Archives and Records Administration, Negative 1621
"RMSC Collections and Libraries", last accessed November 2015
"The Indian Arts Project: 1935-1941," RMSC Exhibits, last accessed November 2015

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Location Info


657 East Avenue
Rochester, NY 14607

Coordinates: 43.1525, -77.5873

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