Lack of Support
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.