From the list on the New Deal’s contributions to the arts.
Who am I?
My great uncle was an eccentric book collector who lived in an old, rambling house stuffed floor-to-ceiling with thousands and thousands of books. After he died, I inherited a tiny portion of his collection: a set of state guidebooks from the 1930s and 40s. These were the American Guides created by the Federal Writers’ Project, the New Deal program that put jobless writers to work during the Great Depression. I dipped into these weird, rich, fascinating books, and I was hooked immediately. Some years later, I quit my job in publishing to research and write my own account of the FWP’s unlikely rise and lamentable fall, Republic of Detours.
Scott's book list on the New Deal’s contributions to the arts
Why did Scott love this book?
If you want to learn about the New Deal’s contributions to the arts, there’s no better place to begin than with the art itself. This lavish book—I keep it displayed on my coffee table—collects hundreds of color posters created by the WPA’s Federal Art Project, which put unemployed artists and designers to work during the Depression. It’s no wonder that many of these posters, mostly silkscreen, have been cherished by collectors for years: they’re beautifully designed, often quite striking, and sometimes funny. And like most of the WPA’s cultural endeavors, they were meant to serve the public good. Flip through this book and you’ll find advertisements for national parks, a reminder to brush your teeth, and a warning to always report dog bites!