Archives of American Art's New Exhibition Portrays "Hard Times, 1929 - 1939"





The crash of the stock market in 1929 initiated a chain of events that crippled the American art scene. As money from private patrons and museums evaporated, artists joined the nation’s staggering number of unemployed workers. The toils and triumphs of a wide range of individual artists and art organizations—documented in letters, photographs, journals, business records and oral-history interviews at the Smithsonian’s Archives of American Art—reveal how American artists survived against the odds. The exhibition will be on display from Aug. 10 to Nov. 8 in the Lawrence A. Fleischman Gallery at the Smithsonian’s Reynolds Center for American Art and Portraiture.

Beginning in 1933, government-sponsored art programs provided work relief for artists, employing them as muralists, painters, sculptors, art educators and researchers. New Deal programs, such as the Civil Works Administration’s Public Works of Art Program, the Treasury Section of Painting and Sculpture and the Works Progress Administration’s Federal Art Project, employed artists and brought art to every corner of the United States...

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