Friday, March 11, 2016

The New Deal: 18,796 Sculptures

Above: "Literature," a sculpture by Hugo Robus, created while he was in the WPA's Federal Art Project, ca. 1935-1939. Image from the book, Frontiers of American Art, by the M.H. deYoung Memorial Museum, 1939. Used here for educational, non-profit purposes.

Above: WPA artist Vally Weiseltheir, working on one of her sculptures in New York City, ca. 1935-1939. Image courtesy of the National Archives and the New Deal Network.

During the New Deal, many sculptures were made to decorate public places. These projects also gave work to many struggling artists. Here are some of the totals:

Public Works of Art Project (1933-1934): 647

Work Division of the Federal Emergency Relief Administration (1934-1935): 94

Section of Fine Arts (1934-1943): 268

Treasury Relief Art Project (1935-1939): 43

Works Progress Administration (1935-1943): 17,744

Total New Deal Sculptures: 18,796

(To see some of the sources I used, see my blog post here, as well as the Living New Deal's program summaries.) 

Above: Some New Deal sculptures are still in public places today, such as this one in Greenbelt, Maryland. It's called "Mother and Child," and was created by Lenore Thomas. Photo by Brent McKee, 2011.

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