Sunday, June 11, 2017

New Deal Fairy Tale, Nursery Rhyme, and Story Art (5/10): "Hansel and Gretel"

Above: "Hansel and Gretel," a stencil print by Frank Daniel Fousek (1913-1979), created while he was in the WPA's Federal Art Project, ca. 1935-1939. According the website Art of the Print, Fousek "was strongly associated with the Cleveland Chapter of the Works Progress Administration... The Cleveland W.P.A. Graphics Art Workshop began operation in 1935 and continued to 1943. It was considered one of the five best centers for original prints and its artists included Leroy Flint, Russell Limbach, Dorothy Rutka, Sheffield Kagy, Kalman Kubinyi and Frank Fousek. Kubinyi was in charge of the project until 1939, when Frank Fousek assumed control." Image courtesy of the General Services Administration and the Kelvin Smith Library, Case Western Reserve University.

Above: A WPA poster, promoting the WPA's production of "Hansel and Gretel." In "Hansel and Gretel," a witch captures two children and plans to eat them. But Gretel foils the plan by pushing the witch into an oven. Image courtesy of the Library of Congress.

Above: A scene from the WPA's production of "Hansel and Gretel," Los Angeles, February 16, 1937. In 1938, WPA Theatre Director Hallie Flanagan told a congressional committee: "The Federal Theatre has an audience of many millions, among them a great proportion of youth. It has an ambitious nationwide plan in which local and regional material is developed, a plan which includes classics, living newspapers, research, dance, children's theatres" (Hallie Flanagan, Arena, New York: Duell, Sloan, and Pearce, 1940, p. 326). Photo courtesy of the National Archives and the New Deal Network.

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