Enough to Live On: Art from the WPA
January 27 through April 22, 2017
May 22 through July 8, 2017
Curator: Kathryn Koca Polite
In 1933, Franklin D. Roosevelt proposed the New Deal, a series of programs that sought recovery and reform from the Great Depression by creating jobs and aiding the unemployed with enough money to live on. Under the Works Progress Administration, the Federal Art Project (1935–1943) was the largest of the New Deal art programs and focused on all areas of the visual arts—including design, the fine arts, and art education.
Thousands of artists were commissioned by the government to create public works that captured the state of the nation at that time, which resulted in prints disseminated throughout the country, hundreds of murals installed in various government buildings, and the creation of various community centers. This exhibition focuses on WPA works—prints, paintings, and sculptures—allocated from the federal government that are currently housed in the museum's permanent collection.
Select programming for this exhibition:
Opening Night | January 26, 2017
Celebrate with us and get a first look at the season's new art exhibitions. The evening will feature live music, refreshments, and the company of Champaign-Urbana art enthusiasts.
Private Preview & Reception for Museum Members | 5–6 pm Reception catered by Michaels' Catering
Public Opening Reception | 6–7 pm
With opening welcome by Acting Dean of the College of Fine and Applied Arts and Museum Director Kathleen Harleman at 6 pm.
South of the Loop (detail)
Allocated by the
commissioned through the New Deal art projects
© Charles Turzak