Livingston Arts Center“I pledge you, I pledge myself, to a new deal for the American people.” F.D.R.
“New Deal Gallery” Features Paintings That Reflect a Presidential Promise and America’s Great Depression
(GENESEO, NY – December 15, 2008) Visitors can gain a unique glimpse of American life during the 1930’s and the Great Depression at the New Deal Gallery at the newly opened Livingston Arts Center in Mount Morris, New York. The New Deal Gallery resurrects and features, on a rotating basis, over 200 easel paintings that have been in storage, unseen by the general public for decades. The works of art represent one of the most complete collections of easel painting funded by Franklin D. Roosevelt’s New Deal. Launched in 1935, Roosevelt’s Works Progress Administration (WPA) was a massive employment relief program that included a focus on the arts. The WPA’s Federal Arts Program (FAP) put out-of-work artists to work with the intended effort to serve the public good and conserve the skills and the self-esteem of workers throughout the U.S. Another objective of the FAP program was to prevent the fleeing of artists from rural areas to major cities. The program helped promote American art and culture and to give more Americans access to what President Roosevelt described as “an abundant life.” The projects saved thousands of artists from poverty and despair and enabled Americans all across the country to see an original painting for the first time or to take their first art class. “Roosevelt’s New Deal Program employed thousands of artists and charged them with creating works of art that would beautify public spaces,” says Lisa Burns, Livingston County Tourism Director. “As a collection these easel paintings reveal so much about the culture and mood of our country facing the challenge of The Great Depression. It’s almost uncanny that our collection should be ready for the world to see during a time when the exact concept of a federal works program is being considered again by our federal government. Visitors interested in American history, politics, traditions, family life and of course art, will be entranced by this historical collection.”  Letchworth in Frame The paintings in the New Deal Gallery depict a wide range of scenes. Some are intended to inspire the viewer. Others reflect the everyday joys and challenges facing people at the time. TulipsSeveral of the featured artists, such as David Burliuk and Jerome Myers went on to have significant careers in art. Located on Livingston County’s Murray Hill Campus in Mount Morris, the Livingston Arts Center’s New Deal Gallery is open to the public. Tours may be scheduled and a charming gift shop offers period reproductions, local artwork, literature and logo merchandise. There is no admission charge; donations are welcome. For more information, contact Lisa Burns at Livingston County Tourism, 800-538-7365 or the Genesee Valley Council on the Arts, 4 Murray Hill Drive, Mount Morris NY 14510, 585-243-6785, email:
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Media Contact: Lisa G. Burns, (585) 243-2222;