Depression-era prints depict America’s struggles and resilience | Arts & Theater
Claire Mahl Moore’s “The Fair Sex” is populated by German expressionist faces, with “hunger in their features,” Hughes said.
Optimism returns in the “Leisure” section, where artists illustrated modern dance, folk musicians, parades and parks. Kyra Markham, who worked in theater and set design, became a visual artist during the Works Progress Administration. His print, “In the Wings”, sees three costumed dancers backstage at a show.
Chacon said a large number of female artists were involved given the period. “It was a very egalitarian project, and unusual in that regard.” However, few of the artists, male or female, in the exhibition pursued well-known careers, in part because of changes in the art world.
“A lot of artists eventually became obscure, because they were deceived by (modernist abstraction) in the 50’s and 60’s, and it’s a shame because some of them are really talented artists but the majority of them are relatively unknown, ”said Chacon. . “Urban and Rural Scenes” features a work by Thomas Hart Benton, the American regionalist well known for his murals across the country.
“Work and Transportation” can include some of the more familiar archetypes, such as Arthur G. Murphy’s “Bridge Worker No. 7”, which portrays a “heroic, Christ-like worker” working on infrastructure, Hughes said.