SO WE’VE GOT NATIONAL HEALTH CARE, a step in the right direction. Now if only Obama would put under-employed artists to work, like FDR did back in the New Deal days.
The legacy of art produced by the enlightened Works Progress Administration, from Post Office murals to posters promoting everything from adult education to zoos, is nothing short of fantastic.
The work turned out under WPA auspices seemed to cohere into a graphic style of its own, melding social realism, Art Deco, and sometimes Cubism, with distinctive typography and brave color.
I was alerted to this online collection by garden blogger extraordinaire Margaret Roach, who was in turn made aware of it by Pam of Retro Renovation. No way am I going to miss the chance to get some of these stunning images onto my own blog for your delectation.
Go here to browse the entire collection of 908 posters by subject or keyword, and enjoy.
The By the People, For the People: Posters from the WPA, 1936-1943 collection consists of 908 boldly colored and graphically diverse original posters produced from 1936 to 1943 as part of Franklin Delano Roosevelt’s New Deal. Of the 2,000 WPA posters known to exist, the Library of Congress’s collection of more than 900 is the largest. These striking silkscreen, lithograph, and woodcut posters were designed to publicize health and safety programs; cultural programs including art exhibitions, theatrical, and musical performances; travel and tourism; educational programs; and community activities in seventeen states and the District of Columbia. The posters were made possible by one of the first U.S. Government programs to support the arts and were added to the Library’s holdings in the 1940s.