Artists at Work: A Film on the New Deal Art Projects

Artists At Work: The New Deal Art Projects artists at work cover

Produced & Directed by Mary Lance
Narrated by Morgan Freeman
Documentary: 35 minutes Released: 1981
DVD: ISBN: 1-878917-16-1
Prices: Home Video: $29.95 Classroom/Institution: $75.00

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When President Franklin D. Roosevelt took office in 1933 during the Great Depression, nearly 10,000 artists were out of work. Over the next decade, a series of programs known as the New Deal Art Projects was developed. Under the WPA and other programs, thousands of artists were able to earn a living while devoting themselves full-time to their art.

"ARTISTS AT WORK" focuses on the visual arts programs of the New Deal, highlighting the impact on the lives and work of American artists. Interviews with Ilya Bolotowsky, James Brooks, Joseph Delaney, Harry Gottlieb, Chaim Gross, Lee Krasner, Edward Laning, Jacob Lawrence, Alice Neel, and Joseph Solman are included, along with archival film, photographs, sound recordings, and original color photography of the works of art.

"ARTISTS AT WORK" chronicles the New Deal effort to spread "art to the millions" through the country's first comprehensive art education program. The Artists Union and related political activities are explored, as are the destruction and loss of works of art produced under the New Deal Programs.     
Also available in 16mm film. Please contact us for rental and purchase information.

Major funding: National Endowment for the Humanities; New York Council for the Humanities.

Awards: Blue Ribbon, American Film Festival, 1982; CINE Golden Eagle, 1983; San Francisco International Film Festival, Honorable Mention, 1983; Silver Plaque, Chicago International Film Festival, 1982.

Selected Screenings: Public TV broadcast, 1982; Melbourne, Australia Fim Festival, 1983; National Gallery of Art, 1984; Metropolitan Museum of Art; Museum of Modern Art, NY, 1983; Whitney Museum of American Art; Hirshhorn Museum, 1982; Women in the Director's Chair, 1982; Milan Festival of  American Independent Cinema, 1983; Lobo Theater, Albuquerque; The Albuquerque Museum; Amon Carter Museum; Art Institute of Chicago; Milwaukee Public Museum; Virginia Museum of Art; California Historical Society, 1984; North Carolina Museum of Art; FDR Library and Museum, 2014; U.S. Department of the Interior Museum, 2014.

 

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    WPA Art Caravan, Courtesy National Archives

    WPA Art Caravan, Courtesy National Archives

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    WPA Building, NY World's Fair, Courtesy National Archives

    WPA Building, NY World's Fair, Courtesy National Archives

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    WPA artist working in the street, Courtesy National Archives

    WPA artist working in the street, Courtesy National Archives

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    Artist Edwatd Laning and muralists, Courtesy National Archives

    Artist Edwatd Laning and muralists, Courtesy National Archives

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    WPA signs, Courtesy National Archives

    WPA signs, Courtesy National Archives