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PRINT Summer 1966

The Thirties Revived “Federal Art Patronage, 1933–1943”

BILLED AS “THE FIRST COMPREHENSIVE showing of government sponsored mural, easel and graphic art since 1943,” a show called “Federal Art Patronage, 1933–1943” opened in April at the University of Maryland. The 100 works, which ranged from two Jackson Pollock paintings shown publicly for the first time to an anti-syphilis silk screen poster, comprised a compelling come-on for an era which has always seemed something of a retrogression—those Depression days when social consciousness interrupted the assimilation of European abstraction begun by Americans abroad between 1910 and 1930.

Naturally the Maryland show—consisting largely of works loaned permanently to the University by the Federal government for study purposes and augmented by art from The Smithsonian, The National Gallery of Art and elsewhere—contained its full share of those familiar “Rockefeller Center modern” images of muscled,

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