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Democratic Art – The New Deal's Influence on American Culture - Chicago Scholarship Online
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Democratic Art: The New Deal's Influence on American Culture

Sharon Ann Musher


This work seeks to understand why the temporary flowering of government funding of the arts for needy artists and intellectuals during the Great Depression was both so robust and so fleeting. It outlines five views of art that became especially prominent at the time: art as grandeur, art as enrichment, art as a weapon, art as experience, and art as subversion. Classically-trained artists, architects, and urban planners, who since the early nineteenth century had held a monopoly on public art, continued to imagine a small cadre of artists using grand and monumental art and architecture to inspi ... More

Keywords: WPA, Works Progress Administration, Works Projects Administration, new deal, art, great depression, federal art project

Bibliographic Information

Print publication date: 2015 Print ISBN-13: 9780226247182
Published to Chicago Scholarship Online: January 2016 DOI:10.7208/chicago/9780226247212.001.0001


Affiliations are at time of print publication.

Sharon Ann Musher, author