Wednesday, February 18, 2015
Gwendolyn Bennett and the WPA
(The description for this undated photograph reads "Miss Gwendolyn Bennett, director of the Harlem Community Art Center of the N.Y.C. WPA Art Project, is shown beside an example of her work." Photo courtesy of the National Archives and the New Deal Network.)
Gwendolyn Bennett (1902-1981) led an interesting life as a poet, artist, and political activist. During the communist witch hunts of the late 1930s and 1940s she was continuously harassed by Congress's paranoid (and often racist) "House Un-American Activities Committee" (H.U.A.C.).
For more information about Bennett, see "Gwendolyn Bennett papers, 1916-1981" (New York City Public Library, Archives & Manuscripts) and "Found! A Gwendolyn Bennett Painting" (International Review of African American Art). To see a few more photos of Bennett, see "Gwendolyn Bennett Photograph Collection" (New York City Public Library, Digital Collections).