1934: A New Deal for Artists

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For a short time, from December 1933 to June 1934, the PWAP, part of Franklin Roosevelt’s New Deal, provided funding for public arts projects, one of the first instances of US government involvement in the arts. Artists were hired to capture the “American Scene” in works created for public buildings throughout the country. The artists were given complete discretion as to how to interpret this directive, and painted a variety of subjects. The paintings in this exhibition catalogue, chosen from the collection of the Smithsonian American Art Museum, are arranged into groups based on subject matter, such as “Industry”, “Labor”, “Leisure”, “City”, “Country” and “Nature”. 

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