WPA artists changed the course of US art – antique dealers | Candle Made Easy

The October 1929 stock market crash unleashed a severe economic shockwave across the United States, sweeping through financial systems and citizens without a social safety net to support them.

In the 1932 presidential election, Franklin Delano Roosevelt defeated Herbert Hoover in a landslide victory. Roosevelt’s vision of a New Deal to bring about change was put into motion with the aim of strengthening our financial systems and with programs designed to employ the masses and develop infrastructure.

The New Deal had a wide range of work programs. One such program, the Work Project Administration’s Federal Art Project, changed the course of art in the United States. From 1935 to 1943, WPA artists—painters, photographers, printmakers, illustrators, and more—from diverse backgrounds worked in a variety of styles and subjects. The dominant theme and the main focus of the artists during these challenging years was social realism.

On January 27, Swann Auction Galleries will feature Artists of The WPA, exploring the themes, motivations and artists that defined the New Deal era as part of the many agencies that formed during that time. Capturing vernacular architecture for the rise of the modern city, elevating the visual and performing arts, interior scenes from domestic servants to billiard halls—enabled artists to paint, print, and photograph to get ahead in a time of great turmoil.

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