Federal Art Project. Photographic Division.

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The Federal Art Project, as well as the Federal Music Project, Federal Theater Project and Federal Writers' Project were all projects of the Work Progress Administration's (WPA) Federal Project No. 1.

The WPA was established in May 1935 specifically as a work relief program for the millions of individuals left unemployed during the Depression. Its name changed to the Work Projects Administration in 1939 when it fell under the administrative hand of the newly created Federal Works Agency. (At that same time, the Federal Art Project officially became the Federal Art Program.) Under the Federal Art Project, separate photographic divisions were set up in several states, most notably in New York City. In addition to documenting the work and activities of artists employed on the program, photographers documented the activities of other projects under "Federal One," including the Federal Theater and Music Projects. Photographers also worked on creative assignments for exhibitions, photo murals, etc.

From the description of Federal Art Project, Photographic Division collection, circa 1920-1965, bulk 1935-1942. (Unknown). WorldCat record id: 669912653

The Federal Art Project (FAP) was one of the depression-era work relief programs of the Federal Works Progress Administration (WPA). The program was founded in August 1935 to provide employment for artists and to implement visual arts programs in local communities across the country.

Together with the Federal Music Project, the Federal Theater Project and the Federal Writers' Project the FAP formed part of the WPA's Federal Project No. 1. The WPA became the Work Projects Administration in 1939 when it fell under the administrative hand of the newly created Federal Works Agency; concurrently the Federal Art Project was officially re-named the Federal Art Program.

Under the direction of Holger Cahill, the goals of the FAP fell into three main areas: production of artwork, art education through art classes and community centers, and art research through the Index of American Design. During the course of the program, artists created murals and other artwork for many for non-Federal government buildings such as schools, hospitals and libraries. Separate photographic divisions were set up in several states, most notably in New York City, to document the work of artists employed by the program, activities in art education such as classes for children and adults and community center outreach programs, and other "Federal One" projects including the Federal Theater and Music Projects. Employees of the photographic division were also involved in creative assignments such as exhibitions and photo murals.

The FAP ended in 1943.

From the guide to the Federal Art Project, Photographic Division collection, circa 1920-1965, bulk 1935-1942, (Archives of American Art, Smithsonian Institution)

Archival Resources
Role Title Holding Repository
Direct Relationships
Relation Name
associatedWith Abbott, Berenice, 1898- person
associatedWith Federal Art Project corporateBody
associatedWith Federal Music Project U.S. corporateBody
associatedWith Federal Theatre Project U.S. corporateBody
associatedWith Federal Writers' Project U.S. corporateBody
associatedWith Federal Writers' Project U.S. corporateBody
associatedWith United States. Work Projects Administration. corporateBody
associatedWith United States. Works Progress Administration. corporateBody
Place Name Admin Code Country
New York (State)--New York
United States
Subject
Art--Exhibitions--Photographs
Art festivals
Art and state--Photographs
African American artists--Photographs
African American artists--New York (State)--New York--Photographs
Art--United States--Study and teaching--Photographs
Children's art--United States--Photographs
Artists--Photographs
Art--United States--Exhibitions--Photographs
Theater and state--Photographs
Children's art--Photographs
Hispanic American artists
Music and state--Photographs
Art--Study and teaching--Photographs
Theater and state--United States--Photographs
Federal aid to the public welfare--Photographs
Artists--United States--Photographs
Art and state--United States--Photographs
Federal aid to the arts--Photographs
New Deal, 1933-1939--Photographs
Music and state--United States--Photographs
Occupation
Function

Corporate Body

Active 1920

Active 1965

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