New Deal for Artists

            I missed the opening of the Smithsonian American Art Museum’s “1934: A New Deal for Artists,” which displays art made with the first tranche of money directed at artists under President Franklin Delano Roosevelt’s short-lived Public Works of Art Project. When I finally made it to the show last month, I was struck by comments in the visitor’s log book, many of them evincing a powerful nostalgia for government supported art. After reading Morris Dickstein’s book on art during the Great Depression, and looking through another volume, “When Art Worked: The New Deal, Art, and Democracy” by Roger Kennedy, I ruminated on some of the issues involved with public funding for the arts then and now. The story appeared in last Sunday’s Post.

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Filed under Art, Culture, Museums

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