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August Issue 2006

Gibbes Museum of Art in Charleston, SC, Features Works by WPA Artists

The Gibbes Museum of Art in Charleston, SC, will present the exhibition, America at Work: WPA Prints from the Gibbes Collection, featuring an exhibit of government-supported art from the Era of the Great Depression, on view in the Museum's Charleston Renaissance Gallery, from Aug. 25 through Apr. 15, 2007.

The exhibition represents the initiative of the Depression-era US government to revitalize the nation through the visual arts and art education. This exhibition showcases approximately 25 prints from the Gibbes' permanent collection that were created under the auspices of the Federal Art project, an initiative that provided employment for out-of work artists and created artwork for such public buildings as county courthouses, post offices and libraries.

During the Great Depression of the 1930s, President Franklin Delano Roosevelt launched his ambitious Works Progress Administration (WPA) programs that sent millions of unemployed Americans back to work, including more than 5,000 artists. Under the auspices of the WPA, the Federal Art Project afforded opportunities to a diverse group of artists, including women, African-Americans and immigrants from Russia, China and other countries. Reputed to have created more than 200,000 separate works, FAP artists created posters, murals and paintings - some of which stand among the most significant pieces of public art in the country.
The Gibbes Museum of Art houses the only collection of WPA prints in South Carolina. In 2004 the Gibbes was able to catalogue the collection through the generous support of Reba and Dave Williams, who funded the project through a grant from the Print Research Foundation, Stamford, CT.

For further information check our SC Institutional Gallery listings, call the Museum at 843/722-2706 or at (www.gibbesmuesum.org). 



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