Fine Arts Museum News

Prints by Depression-Era Artists on View at Museum

Michele & Donald D'Amour Museum of Fine Arts

October 13, 2010

Prints by American artists who worked during the Great Depression are on view through March 27, 2011, at the Michele and Donald D’Amour Museum of Fine Arts in the exhibition WPA Artists in Print.

Prints by the noted artists Childe Hassam, Howard Cook, Lawrence Kupferman and Reginald Marsh, many of which have not been exhibited before, are included in the show.

The artists received support from the Works Progress Administration (WPA), a federal program which provided economic opportunities during the Great Depression as part of the New Deal.  The Federal Art Project, in operation from 1933-1943, was the visual arts arm of the program. It provided employment for many out-of-work artists who created murals, posters, paintings and prints which are now considered to be significant works of public art.

Many WPA murals were created for government agencies such as post offices and administrative buildings. Paintings and works on paper were later disseminated to museums. The WPA program led to the establishment of the National Endowment for the Arts.

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