Painting 1930s
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Painting – 1930s. Federal Programs for the Arts Funding of art in post offices, schools and court houses Artists – tend to lean left, support working class John Reed Clubs Artists’ Union (1934) Art Front – Artists’ Union journal (1934-1937)

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Painting – 1930s

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Painting 1930s

Painting – 1930s

  • Federal Programs for the Arts

    • Funding of art in post offices, schools and court houses

    • Artists – tend to lean left, support working class

      • John Reed Clubs

      • Artists’ Union (1934)

        • Art Front – Artists’ Union journal (1934-1937)

        • Some see cause as class struggle against capitalism

        • Some push for unions, not socialism

        • Most want federal art programs


Painting 1930s

  • Public Works of Art Project (PWAP - 1933) – Treasury Dept.

  • Replaced by Section of Painting and Sculpture in the Treasury Dept. (1934)

  • Joins (1935) with Treasury Relief Art Project (TRAP) and the Federal Art Project of the Works Progress Administration (FAP/WPA) is created

  • As of 1935 - FAP/WPA

  • FAP/WPA – from 1935-1943, employs 1000s of artists – painters, sculptors

    • Holger Cahill, director

    • Influenced by John Dewey

    • Art for all Americans, art “distinctly American”

    • Artists received weekly wage (3-5,000 employed)

    • Preference for representational, narrative art


Painting 1930s

  • Treasury Section - 1935 (not a relief organization – TRAP is)

    • Edward Bruce, director

    • Artists compete for work in federal buildings

    • Work approved ahead of time and monitored

    • Funds most murals, though FAP/WPA funds some

      • Spent $2.5 million, created 1,100 murals, 300 sculptures

    • Face greater restrictions

      • Given themes – local history, local industries, local flora and fauna, local pursuits, hunting and fishing, recreational activities

      • Nudity and poverty prohibited, slavery largely excluded

      • Native Americans often depicted

      • Realism not stipulated, but expected

      • Regionalism/Social Realism


Painting 1930s

  • Farm Security Administration - 1935 (FSA) (first called Resettlement Administration)

    • Photographers - Walker Evans, Dorothea Lange, etc.

  • Mexican Muralists

    • Jose Orozco, David Siqueiros, and Diego Rivera

    • Many murals throughout US address concerns of many US intellectuals and artists in early 30s


Rivera detroit industry south 1932 1933

Rivera, Detroit Industry (South – 1932-1933)


Painting 1930s

  • Regionalism/Social Realism

  • Philip Evergood (1901-1973)

    • President of Artists’ Union, works in FAP

    • Powerful depictions of struggles between workers and industrialists


Evergood american tragedy 1937

Evergood, American Tragedy (1937)


Painting 1930s

  • Thomas Hart Benton (1889-1975)

    • Thomas Hart Benton PBS Documentary


Painting 1930s

  • Benton, Parks, the Circus, the Klan, the Press (1933)


Painting 1930s

  • Benton, The Social History of the State of Missouri (1936)


John steuart curry 1897 1946

John Steuart Curry (1897-1946)

  • Tragic Prelude(1940)


Painting 1930s

  • Curry, Tragic Prelude (1940)


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