WPA and New Deal America
In 1933 President Franklin Roosevelt initiated a number of programs to pull the United States out of the Great Depression and reform the country’s economic system. Roosevelt’s New Deal programs touched many aspects of American society, including the arts. The Wolfsonian’s collection contains prints, posters, ceramics, paintings, sculptures, and illustrated books produced by artists working for the Federal Arts Project as well as a great variety of materials intended to persuade the public to embrace such New Deal initiatives as the Civilian Conservation Corps, the Rural Electrification Administration, and the Tennessee Valley Authority. Also in the collection are dozens of studies for murals, which were submitted to competitions organized by the Treasury Department for the decoration of federal buildings such as post offices.