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Re: New Deal art programs

The PWAP started under the Civil Works Administration, which meant it was intended for its brief life to put unemployed artists back to work. This well could have included an art school faculty since teachers of all kinds were losing their jobs left and right. And the PWAP, like the later Federal Art Project under the WPA, hired supervisors who weren't unemployed where they were needed. Will Barnet, for example, was hired to oversee the graphics program in the New York program.

Re: New Deal art programs

Hello Dr. Cherny, I can email you a document (if you are interested) scanned from the Ed Bruce files at NARA, College Park, that addresses this question relative to the PWAP.

The Southwest regional director of PWAP, John Ankeney, apparently commissioned artists as long as they weren't employed full-time (according to artist Everett Spruce--see Francine Carraro's bio on Jerry Bywaters, p.83).

As for the FAP, I would assume there was a means test of some sort since it was administered by the WPA. Per the "Final Report on the WPA Program (pp. 15-16):

New Deal art programs

Here's a question for any of you who have studied New Deal art programs (PWAP, FAP, and Treasury).  In theory, PWAP and FAP were intended for unemployed artists.  However, I have found that members of an art school faculty were employed on a PWAP project, so I'm guessing that the rule was not uniformly applied to PWAP projects.  What about FAP?  Did artists on FAP projects have to be unemployed, i.e., not working as art teachers?

Thanks for any information or leads.

Robert Cherny
Professor emeritus, San Francisco State University

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