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DATE


June 19, 2021

- September 6, 2021

TIME

The American Spirit features artwork that was produced under the Public Works of Art Project (PWAP), a New Deal relief program that brought employment to artists during the Great Depression. The goal of the PWAP was not only to give artists an opportunity to earn money, but also to furnish and beautify public spaces with artwork and to raise public morale during the greatest economic depression in American history.

The PWAP ran from 1933 to 1934 and employed 3,749 artists at the expense of over $1.5 million (over $27.5 million today) in federal funds. Artists were given complete creative freedom, and the only requirement was that their art relate to the theme of the “American Scene.” Over the duration of the project, PWAP artists created a grand total of 15,663 artworks, including wall murals, oil paintings, watercolors, prints and drawings, sculptures, textiles, and many other art forms. This art was then disbursed to public schools, orphanages, libraries, museums, and other public buildings.  

The artwork in The American Spirit comes from the RPM’s collection of over 60 PWAP artworks, all of which are on permanent loan from the United States Government.

DATE


June 19, 2021

- September 6, 2021

TIME

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