NEW DEAL ART

“[The] Public Works of Art Project (PWAP), which in roughly the first four months of 1934 hired 3,749 artists and produced 15,663 paintings, murals, prints, crafts and sculptures for government buildings around the country. The bureaucracy may not have been watching too closely what the artists painted, but it certainly was counting how much and what they were paid: a total of $1,184,000, an average of $75.59 per artwork, pretty good value even then. The premise of the PWAP was that artists should be held to the same standards of production and public value as workers wielding shovels in the national parks. Artists were recruited through newspaper advertisements placed around the country; the whole program was up and running in a couple of weeks… ….”

Smithsonian Magazine1934: The Art of the New Deal.”

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