This catalogue, drawn from the collection of Sandra and Bram Dijkstra, includes work from the American East, Midwest, and West and showcases the artists’ divergent political views but collective interest in humanity.
During the WPA (Works Progress Administration) era, artists sought to make their art accessible to regular, everyday people.
Many artists focused on the people themselves, especially laborers, the poor, and the disenfranchised. They also featured urban and rural built environments, contemporary modes of transportation, and other subjects that artists found close at hand, both on the farm and in the city.
Overall, WPA-era artists aimed to undermine elitism, reject overt foreign influence, and avoid confusing abstraction, all to communicate a clear narrative and create what they saw as a shared American experience through art.
The Exhibition: Art for the People: WPA Era-Paintings from the Dijkstra Collection, opens at The Huntington in December, 2023.