Imagine what it was like to be an American artist at the beginning
of the Great Depression of the 1930s. The American economy
had collapsed, leaving millions jobless, poor, and filled
with despair. Under such difficult conditions, you might think
that art and artists would be altogether forgotten, but this
was not so. Between 1933 and 1943, the federal government
used taxpayers' dollars to sponsor many different art projects.
These projects were associated with the Works Progress Administration
(WPA) and President Franklin D. Roosevelt's New Deal. The
projects helped to employ jobless artists and keep American
art and culture alive during one of the darkest decades this
nation has ever known. The kinds of art created under the
WPA differed in interesting ways from previous works. Artists
were profoundly influenced by the changes taking place in
|Take a trip
on the Internet and learn all about the art and artists
connected with the WPA. Click on the button that will
print out your worksheet, then click on the selection
listed in your Artist's Passport below. As you explore
the site, study the artworks created during the Depression.
Think about the ways artists respond to historical changes.
Then, ask yourself how you, a young artist in your own
right, are connected to the present historical moment.
If possible, download and print out images of your favorite
works to include with your worksheet.
Artist's Passport Web Links
Deal for the Arts