TABLE OF CONTENTS

New Deal Murals in New York

INTRODUCTION

THE MOST IMPORTANT FACTOR in the development of American art during the 1930s—and for some time thereafter—was the patronage of the New Deal. A study of the four Federal art projects which operated between 1933 and 1943 reveals that they were effective in aiding both established and unknown artists during a time of economic crisis, imaginative in their support of all areas of artistic endeavor and, most significant of all, productive of some of the best art of the decade. As such, these projects constitute a major turning point in the cultural history of our nation—a turning point which can no longer be ignored by historians and critics.

American art tends to be discussed today too much in terms of European influences. Its indigenous developments are called “provincialism” and the best of these are too often seen and judged exclusively in terms of foreign achievements rather

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