WPA Art from RAM's Collection

February 19 - June 4, 2017

When Wustum Museum of Fine Arts first opened, it did not have a permanent collection. Any of the work on display in the galleries was borrowed from artists, collectors, and other museums as short term loans. This changed, and Wustum became an institution with an art collection, when Sylvester Jerry, the museum’s first director, was able to obtain over 260 works produced through the Federal Art Project (FAP) of the Works Progress Administration (WPA). Working with state and local governments, the WPA was a national program that provided jobs and income for many unemployed during the Great Depression of the 1930s.  

Drawn from RAM’s holdings, this exhibition includes a selection of prints, watercolors, drawings, photographs, and textiles generated through the WPA. This gift of work was visionary for Wustum and RAM in that it foreshadowed what would eventually become the collecting foci—works on paper and contemporary craft.

MORE ABOUT THE EXHIBITION
Exhibition Gallery Guide
Wisconsin WPA Art (48-page publication)
Timeline – 75 Years of Art at RAM's Wustum Museum
Press Room

ARTISTS IN THE EXHIBITION Berenice Abbott, Carlos Anderson, Kendrick Bell, Marie Bleck, Fritzi Brod, Ludwig Cinatl, Jr., Paul Clemens, Stuart Davis, Adolph Dehn, Mabel Dwight, Max Fernekes, Forrest Flower, George Herlick, Andrew Herman, Carl Hoeckner, Mabel Wellington Jack, Richard Jansen, Jacob Kainen, Edwin B, Knutesen, Ann Krasnen, Paul Lauterbach, Edmund D. Lewandowski, Schomer Lichtner, Louis Lozowick, Elizabeth Olds, Louis Lee Powell, David A Robbins, Robert Schellin, George Schreiber, Alfred Sessler, Agnes Jessen Slater, Isaac Soyer, Raphael Soyer, Charles Winstanley Thwaites, Barbara Warren, Brett Weston, and Santos Zingale

Anonymous Artists
Applied Design Block Printed Textiles, Volume VI, ca. 1940
Color wood block on cotton
Racine Art Museum, Gift of the Works Progress Administration (WPA),
Wisconsin Federal Art Project (FAP), Milwaukee WPA Handicraft Project
Photography: Jon Bolton, Racine
 
Anonymous
Applied Design Block Printed Textiles, Volume IV, ca. 1940
Color wood block on cotton

Racine Art Museum, Gift of the Works Progress Administration (WPA),
Wisconsin Federal Art Project (FAP), Milwaukee WPA Handicraft Project
Photography: Jon Bolton, Racine
 
Santos Zingale
Lynch Law, 1934

Woodcut
Racine Art Museum, Gift of the Artist
Photography: Jon Bolton, Racine

Berenice Abbott
Henry Street Looking West from Market Street,
from the Changing New York Series
, 1935
Silver gelatin print
Racine Art Museum, Gift of the Works Progress Administration (WPA),
New York Federal Art Project (FAP)
Photography: Jon Bolton, Racine
 
Anonymous
Richard Jansen at Work Painting a Map of Wisconsin, ca. 1940
Silver gelatin print
Racine Art Museum, Gift of the Works Progress Administration (WPA)
Photography: Jon Bolton, Racine
 

This exhibition is made possible at Racine Art Museum by: Platinum Sponsors - Karen Johnson Boyd and William B. Boyd, Windgate Charitable Foundation; Diamond Sponsor - Osborne and Scekic Family Foundation, SC Johnson; Gold Sponsors - Herzfeld Foundation, Johnson Bank, National Endowment for the Arts, W.T. Walker Group, Inc.; Silver Sponsors - Andis Foundation, Racine Community Foundation, Real Racine, Runzheimer International Ltd, United Way Racine County, Wisconsin Arts Board; Bronze Sponsors - CNH Industrial, EC Styberg Foundation, Educators Credit Union, In Sink Erator, The Norbell Foundation. Orkney Springs Retreat, Ruud Family Foundation, Southern Connecticut Polymer Clay Guild, Wisconsin Public Radio.