Art as archives: HSP’s collection of WPA posters

As we’ve stated before here on this blog, there’s alot more to HSP’s archives than just old correspondence and records.  HSP’s conservation staff recently finished work on our Work Projects Administration (WPA) posters collection, which was adopted last year.  The collection contains works from the 1930s and 1940s from mostly Pennsylvania artists who were employed under the Pennsylvania Art Project (a subsidiary of the Federal Art Project, which itself was formed under the WPA.)  The subjects of the works are very diverse, ranging from advertisements for local attractions to work safety posters to fine art depicting laborers, industry, and landscapes.  Here is a mere sampling of the types of works will find in this great collection.

The collection is open to all researchers and its finding aid is now available online.

Untitled (undated)

"Miner" by Jack Ovchorov (undated)

Community Food Conservation, Inc. advertisement (undated)

"Wash Girl" by Samuel Brown (undated)

Advertisement for the Philadelphia Zoo (undated)

For more information on WPA art and artists, the Library of Congress has a wonderful site devoted to its collection of WPA works.

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3 thoughts on “Art as archives: HSP’s collection of WPA posters

  1. I HAVE A RED WITH WHITE LETTERS PA GAME COMMISSION SAFETY ZONE SAFETY ZONE POSTER, IT’S DATED 1964 RIGHT ON THE UPPER LEFT CORNER, I’M TRYING TO SEE IF THIS IS AN ORIGINAL POSTER?? AT THE BOTTOM IT READS WPA MUSEUM EXTENSION HARRISBURG UNIT..I COULD USE HELP WITH THIS..THANKS

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