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America in the 30s: Prints from the Federal Art Project

America in the 30s: Prints from the Federal Art Project

The Merrill-Cazier Library presents "America in the 30s: Prints from the Federal Art Project," part of Utah Arts & Museums' Traveling Exhibition Program, in the Library Atrium April 20 to May 31, 2017.

The prints selected for this exhibit are by artists associated with the California division of the Works Progress Administration (WPA). The WPA was created in 1935 to provide employment, encouragement, and, in part, support for American artists during the Great Depression. A major success of the program was in bringing the language of arts to remote areas of the United States. The project is also credited with initiating graphic arts workshops and commissions for printmakers throughout the nation and sponsoring the production of some 95,000 prints. This printmaking initiative made it possible for artists to produce high-quality multiple versions of their originals. Much of the work produced was democratic in nature and in theme, consistent with the Federal Art Project goals. This exhibition of prints by California artists includes strong images that help the contemporary viewer understand day-to-day life during the Great Depression in the western United States. Among the pieces are examples of both lithography and wood engraving techniques.