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“The New Deal for Art: Its History and Legacy” by Helen A. Harrison, on Thursday, June 20th at 7PM via Zoom

June 20, 7 pm8:30 pm.
Moses Soyer, Artists on WPA, 1935

During the Great Depression of the 1930s, the New Deal stimulus programs put artists to work on the federal payroll. Beginning in December 1933 and lasting until early 1943, the government hired thousands of them to create paintings, sculpture, murals and prints. The Treasury Department ran a program to decorate federal courthouses and post offices, while the Works Progress Administration paid artists a weekly wage, on the same basis as other skilled workers. Many of their works can still be found in locations nationwide. Helen will illustrate some examples and discuss the history and legacy of New Deal art.

An early interest in government art patronage led Helen to pursue graduate study of the New Deal art projects at Case Western University, where she worked on a major survey exhibition, “Federal Art in Cleveland, 1933-1943.” The catalog included her essay on the mural projects, and she served as the exhibition coordinator, which prompted her decision to pursue a curatorial career.

Helen A. Harrison is an art historian, curator, journalist, and author. The longtime director of the Pollock-Krasner House and Study Center in East Hampton, New York, she is known for her books, essays, reviews, and exhibitions devoted to modern American art, and the Art of Murder series of historical mystery novels set in the New York art world. For 28 years she wrote art reviews and feature articles for The New York Times Long Island section and has been the visual arts commentator for Long Island University’s NPR-affiliated radio station. Her non-fiction books include Hamptons Bohemia: Two Centuries of Artists and Writers on the Beach and monographs on Larry Rivers and Jackson Pollock. She and her husband, the painter Roy Nicholson, live in Sag Harbor. Visit her website, helenharrison.net.

For your convenience, you may register for this FREE online lecture at https://theatelieratflowerfield.org/lectures  or call 631-250-9009 for more information.


2 Flowerfield, Suite 6 & 9
St. James, NY 11780 United States