Culture and Arts. The Depression led not only to new arts funding, but a radical rethinking of how to express the social experience of the Depression itself.
- 1992; Creator; Boker, Alicia. He recounts life during the Great Depression which he felt was due to the poor administration under. He discusses different programs that came about during the time of Roosevelt such as.
- An Overview of the Great Depression. As argued by Eichengreen (1992). There surely are other programs with similar acronyms that have been left out.
- The Great Depression started with the stock market crash of 1929 & lasted for 12 yrs. Some government programs helped them to live through the 1930s but this changed affected the future of agriculture forever.
Although the Great Depression was relatively mild in some countries, it was severe. New York: Oxford University Press, 1992. These programs became known as the New. Norton and Company, 1992. The Great Depression was an economic downturn which started in 1929. Great Myths of the Great Depression by Lawrence Reed.
At the 'Great Depressions of the Twentieth Century' conference held at.
The rise of social unrest during the Depression heightened the political concerns of artistic works, while New Deal programs gave artists both federal recognition and the funding and space to work out new cultural forms. Technical changes, like the popularization of the radio, changed how accessible culture was and to whom, and an international break from formalism and modernism also worked to produce a popularized, socially conscious tendency in American art. During the Depression decade, Washington State, often seen as marginal to national art history, hosted some of the most innovative theatre, musical, and performing arts work in the nation, with sometimes global resonance. It is one of the ironies of the Great Depression that the emblematic cultural institution of Washington State, the Seattle Art Museum, was created and privately funded during the darkest days of the economic crisis, when tens of thousands were losing jobs and homes. SAM was a gift to the city from art collector Richard Fuller and his wealthy mother Margaret Fuller. In 1. 93. 1, they hired UW architect Richard Gould to design a museum sited in Volunteer Park and pledged much of their personal art collection to the city. The building, which now houses the Seattle Asian Art Museum, opened to the public in 1.
The SAM story reminds us that not everyone suffered or even lost money during the Depression and reminds us too that philanthropy accelerated in the 1. But more important than philanthropy was the new role that government funds and government programs would play after 1. For the first time in American history, art was deemed worthy of public support, and New Deal federal dollars enabled an explosion of artistic endeavors, from painting to music to theatre to architecture.
The 1. 93. 0s would prove to be a pivotal decade for Washington State’s arts and culture, leaving the region with new institutions, lasting artistic accomplishments, and a new public understanding that art was no longer just for the wealthy. Cornish College Washington’s cultural ferment of the 1. New Deal era would not have been possible without the existence, decades before, of smaller institutions and artists collectives, most notably the small and struggling private Cornish College of the Arts, in Seattle. Founded as a music school in 1.
Nellie Cornish, the Cornish College of the Arts in Seattle grew to encompass all the performing and visual arts, and served as the center of the Northwest’s growing art scene. Despite its financial and social ties to the more traditional Seattle Fine Arts Society, and the sometimes- conservative leanings of its Board of Directors, Cornish also hosted performing artists who were breaking from traditional forms and experimenting with new modes of performance, presentation, and style. From a glance at the list of faculty and students during the 1.
Cornish was a seedbed for both regional as well as national cultural transformations during the Depression years: modern dancer Martha Graham taught at Cornish in the summer if 1. Seattle performance; innovative composer John Cage taught at the school and developed his “prepared piano” there in 1. Seattle native Merce Cunningham began his dance training at Cornish in 1. Martha Graham, who promoted his career in New York; and hosted Northwest native and modernist photographer Imogen Cunningham as an artist- in- residence in the late 1. Florence and Burton James began their theatre experiments as faculty at Cornish before founding the Seattle Repertory Playhouse.
Nellie Cornish founded the school in 1. Seattle. As Kenneth Callahan, a member of the loose Northwest School and assistant director of the Seattle Art Museum wrote in 1. Since 1. 92. 9 artists, for the greater part, have come to the realization that there is no longer a market for their output. Whereas formerly artists attempted to see, interpret and execute their work and style that conformed to the tastes of the moment, many thereby making a fair living, today the situation is very different. As a result, more and more painters are devoting themselves to problems of painting, crafts, and interpretation.”. These programs started in a small way in 1. Work relief was one of the goals, but leaders of these programs often also hoped to sponsor indigenous, regional talent and encourage the growth of a national, popular artistic culture.
The guiding philosophies of the Federal Art, Federal Theatre, Federal Writers’, and Federal Music Projects (all 1. New ideas about the social responsibilities of artists and new styles and subject matter—conveyed by the artistic label “social realism”—were part of this aesthetic transformation. The artistic legacy of the New Deal can be seen today in the murals that adorn public buildings throughout the state, including schools, libraries, and post offices. Hundreds of artists worked on these murals, which in the spirit of the time, were usually painted in a realistic style and depicted groups of men and women working together in common cause, either in 1. See Visual Arts in the Great Depression, a special section of this website. The painters of what became known as the Northwest School worked in a different aesthetic, often interested more in nature than people, exploring the light and color of the Puget Sound with tones and techniques strongly influenced by Japanese artist traditions. Woodcut artist Richard Correll began illustrating the Seattle Communist Party’s newspaper, the Voice of Action, producing a new artistic style and political statement with broad appeal.
Indeed, Correll’s work became so popular that he began teaching woodcutting classes. A self- taught artist who worked with ink and watercolors, his collection of more than 8. Hoovervilles and homeless men, of jails and soup kitchens, unemployed demonstrations and police attacks, strikes and radical protests—all of which he knew well. Theatre, Photography, Music, Film.
Culture and Arts during the Depression. It is one of the ironies of the Great Depression that the emblematic cultural.
As discussed in Theatre Arts in the Great Depression, a special section of this website, Washington’s division of the Federal Theatre Project was one of the nation’s most successful and extensive programs that drew on old Northwest theatre traditions like vaudeville as well as Depression- era civil rights concerns to shape its programs. Washington State’s Federal Theatre Project included a traveling vaudeville company, the all- African American Negro Repertory Company, a Children’s Theatre, and produced “Living Newspapers” that dramatized regional current events. Seattle's jazz culture flourished in the 1. Jackson Street in Seattle's Central District.
Pictured here is Edythe Turnham and her Knights of Syncopation, c. Turnham toured the Northwest with her band and played up and down the West Coast and on President Line Cruises, embodying travel routes that linked Washington musicians to the rest of the nation and the country.
Dorothea Lange, whose photographs of California’s Depression migrants have become iconic images of the Depression, photographed migrant farm laborers in Washington’s Yakima Valley in 1. Japanese American internment camps—for the Farm Securities Administration. Folksinger Woody Guthrie was commissioned to write songs promoting public utilities and work relief- built dams on the Columbia River, producing 1. Roll on, Columbia,” the current state song. The Depression years also saw Washington's emergence in national films, as the major Hollywood studios set and filmed many major 1. State's mountains and waterfronts.
Washington's mountains served as cheaper stand- ins for the Alaskan Yukon, while scenes of Seattle's waterfront provided authenticity and novelty to Hollywood's films. State boosters used the films as ways to bring tourism to the State, while Hollywood sometimes employed Washington's unemployed as temporary film crews. Symphonic music suffered during the Great Depression. Seattle had an undistinguished, mostly volunteer symphony at the start of the decade and despite support from the Federal Music Project, that institution and other local symphonies would struggle for audiences throughout the decade. Radio was part of the problem for the symphony, but part of the popularization of art in the era: radio networks now delivered music of many kinds straight into the family living room at no cost. Greek clarinetist Nicholas Oeconamacos, who had performed under John Philip Sousa and the Seattle Symphony conductor Homer Hadley, returned to Seattle during the Great Depression to play for change on the street.
Federal and regional funding also provided assistance for unemployed musicians, and the City Council sponsored outdoor concert series in the parks as one way to employ musicians. As Jazz evolved into Swing Jazz, dancing became the rage. Jackson Street, the heart of Seattle’s black community, was also the heart of the region’s Jazz scene. Local bands played the Jackson Street clubs and attracted mixed black and white audiences, while touring big bands found larger venues downtown where only whites were allowed. As it was in the rest of the country, the Depression- era arts in Washington State both chronicled people’s experiences and gave voice to a particular vision, born of economic crisis, of social change and renewal. The combination of federal arts funding through the New Deal and the stimulation of social movements for civil rights, industrial unionism, and social reform created a new cultural environment, new forms of art, changed understandings of community and individual social roles, and a collapse of distinctions between art, culture, and politics. Copyright (c) 2. 00.
Jessie Kindig. Next: Visual Arts in the Great Depression. Click on the links below to read illustrated research reports on culture and the arts during Washington's Depression. Ronald Ginther Watercolors.
Ginther produced more than 8.