Surprising Relics of the New Deal in Kansas

New Deal works ranged from gigantic work projects built under the Public Works Administration to humble sewing rooms run by the Works Progress Administration, and from magnificent public monuments like the Jefferson Memorial to beautiful art works in Post Offices.  We’ve seen and documented an amazing array of New Deal creations, but there’s a collection of dolls and dioramas in Crawford County, southeast Kansas, that surprised even us.  It’s part of the collection at the Crawford County Museum, as revealed in this recent story in the Pittsburg (KS) Morning Sun.  These humble artworks were created, in part, under the Museum Project of the WPA.

is Project Manager for The Living New Deal. He is a trained cultural historian who teaches courses in U.S. History at the University of California, Berkeley, and Stanford University.

2 comments on “Surprising Relics of the New Deal in Kansas

  1. Barbara Pendleton

    There are more WPA doll collections in Kansas: in the Belleville’s public library, in Colby’s Prairie Museum, Eureka’s Greenwood County Museum, Holton’s Jackson County Museum, and Neodesha’s Norman #1 Museum. I believe there is also a set at the Kansas State Historical Society in Topeka.

    The dolls were dressed in folk styles of other countries and usually given to elementary schools to use as a teaching aid.

  2. There is also an extensive collection in Wichita at the McCormick School Museum.

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