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1934: A New Deal for Artists

Published by GILES in association with the Smithsonian American Art Museum, Washington, D.C

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1934: A New Deal for Artists - Cover

1934: A New Deal for Artists - Double page spread

1934: A New Deal for Artists - Double page spread

Published — (UK and USA)

Dimensions — 156 pages, 279 x 254mm (10 x 11 in.), portrait

Illustrations — 95 colour and 12 b&w illustrations

Format — Hardback

ISBN — 978-1-904832-67-6

Book Details (pdf) — 1934-AI-LR.pdf

Press Release — A New Deal for Artists

News  —  See 1934: A New Deal for Artists in Iowa this Fall

            —  1934: A New Deal for Artists now at New York...

            —  1934: A New Deal for Artists moves to Minnesota

            —  Muskegon Museum of Art new venue for 1934...

Sales Points

"These artists created exuberant, colorful, serious, and diverse works that were snapshots of life at that time." Pittsburgh Tribune

Draws on 56 vibrant paintings from the Smithsonian American Art Museum's unique collection created for the Public Works of Art program during the Great Depression

Invaluable for students in schools and colleges 

About the Book

1934: A New Deal for Artists celebrates the 75th anniversary of the Public Works of Art Program, drawing on the Smithsonian American Art Museum's unparalleled collection of paintings created for it. In 1934, against the backdrop of the Great Depression, the U.S. Government created its first program to support the arts. The PWAP lasted for six months, from mid-December 1933 to June 1934, and artists from across the United States were encouraged to depict the American scene, and boost morale through art. The Program paid artists to paint regional, recognizable subjects—ranging from portraits to cityscapes, from images of city life to landscapes and depictions of rural life—that reminded the public of the essential American values of hard work, community and optimism. The 55 paintings in this volume are a lasting visual record of America at a specific moment in time; a response to an economic situation that is all too familiar today. 

About the Author(s)

Ann Prentice Wagner is a curatorial associate at the Smithsonian American Art Museum; Roger G. Kennedy, historian and director emeritus of the Smithsonian’s National Museum of American History; Elizabeth Broun has been the director of the Smithsonian American Art Museum since 1989