By the People, For the People: Posters from the WPA, 1936-1943

March 29, 2010 · Print This Article

I love sifting through online image archives, especially those of a historical nature. I’ve been going through the Library of Congress’ collection of posters from the Works Progress Administration and thought I’d share a few of the ones that caught my eye for one reason or another. The collection consists of 908  posters produced during the period 1936 to 1943 as part of Franklin Delano Roosevelt’s New Deal. Of the 2,000 WPA posters known to exist, the Library of Congress’s collection is the largest. They include silkscreens, lithographs, and woodcut posters designed to promote health and safety programs, cultural programs and art exhibitions, travel and tourism, educational programs, and community activities.  Click on the image to be taken to its LOC link.

Chicago will control syphilis : You may have your blood test free and confidentially at one of the following stations : Chicago Board of Health, Herman N. Bundesen, Pres. Federal Art Project, WPA (1938).

Girls - are you interested in a job? : Find out what an occupation has to offer you in pay, employment, security, and promotion : Free classes in occupations. Poster for Illinois branch of the National Youth Administration, 1937.

Poster for Illinois State Employment Service promoting jobs for women as domestics.

Poster for the Brookfield Zoo, showing hippopotamuses superimposed over outline of Africa. 1938.

Don't Mix 'Em. 1937. Robert Lachenmann, artist.

Art week, Nov. 25 - Dec. 1, 1940 : Buy American art.New York : New York City W.P.A. Art Project, 1940.

National Letter Writing Week: Oct. 1-7. Chicago : Illinois WPA Art Project, 1940.

International exhibition of water colors : The Art Institute of Chicago - March 23 - May 14 1939.

NYC WPA War Services, 1941-1943. Herbert Bayer, artist.