Tuesday, February 7, 2017

New Deal Art: "Boys Club, Scotland, Maryland"

Above: "Camp Ernest W. Brown Boys Club, Scotland, Maryland," an oil painting by John W. Clement, created while he was in the WPA's art program, 1940. There doesn't seem to be much biographical information about Clement, but according to the website CampDepot.com, "Camp Ernest W. Brown is owned and operated exclusively by the Metropolitan Police Boys Clubs of Washington, DC. It is located in Scotland, Maryland, in St. Mary's County... Camp Brown encompasses 168 acres along the widest section of the Potomac River. The Camp was established in 1937 and for its entire history has enabled the Clubs to provide a week of respite, learning, and recreation for thousands of boys and young ladies who reside in the District of Columbia. The vast majority of the campers are African-American youngsters from low-income, inner-city families. Often, the trip to camp is their first experience of traveling outside the city and into the countryside. Each summer from the middle of June to late August, 1,000 to 1,500 kids between 7 and 12 years of age escape the heat and trauma of inner-city life to enjoy a week-long adventure at Camp Brown." Photo courtesy of the Smithsonian American Art Museum.

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