The New Deal Arts Projects: a critical revision : constructing the 'national-popular' in New Deal America 1935-1943

PhD thesis


Harris, J. 1986. The New Deal Arts Projects: a critical revision : constructing the 'national-popular' in New Deal America 1935-1943. PhD thesis Middlesex University
TypePhD thesis
TitleThe New Deal Arts Projects: a critical revision : constructing the 'national-popular' in New Deal America 1935-1943
AuthorsHarris, J.
Abstract

The thesis is an analysis of the creation, operation and eventual ending of the Federal Art Project, inaugurated by The United States Government in 1935. It situates the Project in the context of the Great Depression and the provision of social security for the American people. Through an extensive reading of policy statements, press releases and administrative directives produced by the staff and artists of the Federal Art Project, the thesis accounts for the functions served by the Community Art Centre programme, the mural projects and the Index Of American Design. It argues that these operations of the Federal Art Project were intended to construct a coherent national identity in the United States and assert the role of the Government in ordering the lives of the people. The thesis presents an interpretation of the political context within which the Federal Art Project became discredited in the late 1930s and was abolished during the Second World War. Though the experiment of the Federal Art Project was not repeated) the thesis argues finally that the role of the State in the culture of twentieth century American society has developed in a number of ways smnce the 1930s. In contrast to existing work on the Federal Art Project, this thesis concentrates on the particular nature of the State in America, rather than on the employment of artists or the relation of the art to general histories of twentieth century American culture.

Institution nameMiddlesex University
Publication dates
Print25 Apr 2013
Publication process dates
Deposited25 Apr 2013
CompletedJul 1986
Output statusPublished
LanguageEnglish
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