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Artists at Work: The Federal Art Project of the Works Progress Administration

February 1 - May 24, 2003


Between 1933 and 1945, government patronage of the arts was the focus of a number of programs established by President Franklin Delano Roosevelt as part of his New Deal. Under the Department of the Treasure, various programs such as the Federal Art Project, the Works Progress Administration (WPA), and the Farm Security Administration (FSA), employed more than 12,000 artists and photographers to enhance our nation's public buildings with murals, sculpture, and movable works such as easel paintings and works on paper. The $25 million dollars invested in these programs between 1930 and the early 1940s resulted in the creation of 3,350 murals in public buildings, 18,000 sculptures, 108,000 easel paintings, 250,000 lithographs and prints, and a half-million photographs, and a million posters.


Artists at Work presents works from the UW Art Museum's permanent collection created under these programs and later projects by artists whose artistic pursuits contributed to and defined American Modernism of the Twentieth Century. Better and lesser known artists in the exhibition include Thomas Hart Benton, Paul Cadmus, Grant Wood, Leon Kroll, Rockwell Kent, Adolf Dehn, Alexander Kruse, Reginald Marsh, John Sloan, and Moses and Raphael Soyer.

  • Funded in part by the National Advisory Board of the UW Art Museum with additional support from Pacificorp and Wyoming Public Radio.

Images:

Left: Reginald Marsh (American, 1898-1954), The Barker, Intaglio, 9-15/16 x 7-13/16 inches, Not dated, Gift of Friends of the UW Art Museum

Center: Adolf Dehn, All Night Lunch, lithograph, 13 3/4 x 10 1/4 inches, not dated, University of Wyoming Art Museum

Right: John Sloan (American, 1871-1951), Girl and Beggar, Graphite, 9-1/2 x 7-3/4 inches, Not dated, Gift of Mr. William Dean, University of Wyoming Art Museum






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