What Is WPA in Art History?

Art|Art History

The Works Progress Administration (WPA) was a New Deal program enacted by President Franklin Roosevelt in 1935.

The program was designed to provide economic relief to millions of unemployed Americans during the Great Depression, and it did this through massive public works projects. One of the most significant of these was the Federal Art Project, which funded artists to create murals, sculptures, and other artwork for public buildings.

The Federal Art Project employed thousands of artists during the 1930s and 1940s who created works that reflected both the hardships faced during this period as well as the hopes for a brighter future. The art funded by the WPA often depicted scenes from everyday life, such as factories and farms, or included symbols from American history such as eagles and flags. Many of these murals can still be seen in post offices, courthouses, libraries, and other public buildings around the country today.

The WPA also funded other art projects that were less directly related to public works. These included artists’ books, photography exhibitions, and traveling exhibitions that featured art from all over the world. The WPA also supported musicians with its Music Project; writers with its Federal Writers’ Project; theater with its Theater Project; and dance with its Dance Project.

The artwork created by artists under the WPA has become an important part of American culture and has had a lasting impact on American art history. It helped to bring attention to working class struggles while also celebrating American identity through bold colors and powerful imagery. This legacy is still seen today in many of our public buildings and institutions around the country.

In conclusion, WPA in art history refers to the Works Progress Administration (WPA), a New Deal program enacted by President Franklin Roosevelt in 1935 which provided economic relief to millions of unemployed Americans during this time through massive public works projects including funding for artists to create murals, sculptures, photography exhibitions, writers’ projects as well as other forms of artistic expression. This artwork has become a major part of American culture today and is an important part of our country’s artistic heritage that continues to influence modern-day art history.