WPA Poster Art

This is a fabulous collection of poster art from the US- both a propagandist exercise and one in providing art “for the people” by promoting artistic creation “by the people”. The Federal Arts programme provided jobs for thousands of out of work artists. The posters are lithographs, screenprints and woodcuts, and, like all folk art, act as historical insights into the lives and preoccupations of people at the time. They are striking posters, using advertising techniques in their layout, choice of emotive language and “you” attitudes, but they also show the influence of art movements of the time in their geometric forms, abstraction, and combinations of smoky pastel colours with vibrant blacks and reds.

By the People, For the People: Posters from the WPA, 1936-1943



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