Lack of Support

Federal Art Project Works Progress Administration Exhibition of Graphic Arts

Exhibitions such as this unidentified one helped draw attention to American visual arts, but their real purpose was economic stimulus.

At the dawn of the twentieth century the U.S. notoriously lacked in support for the arts, especially in comparison to Europe. Most if not all European countries had networks of national museums and art academies. The first U.S. federal program aimed at visual art came out of the New Deal. The Federal Art Project funded initiatives such as decorating the interior of public buildings and generating graphic art for government publications. The purpose of the Project, however, was to put artists to work rather than cultivate their artwork.

A Reluctant Patron
Lack of Support