A Bittersweet Decade: The New Deal in America

Wolfsonian Museum. From Jul 5th, 2008 through Jan 19th, 2009.  Wolfsonian Museum - FIU. Miami MuseumsCommemorating the 75th anniversary of the New Deal, A Bittersweet Decade: The New Deal in America, 1933-43 considers the impact of Franklin D. Roosevelt’s New Deal programs on American culture. The exhibition, on view July 5, 2008 through January 19, 2009, explores how the government’s patronage of art, design, and architecture were integral parts of the larger project of the New Deal, which aimed to spur recovery from the Great Depression and change American society.

Drawing largely on the resources of The Wolfsonian-FIU, and complemented by the collections of local and national supporters, including Martin Z. Margulies, Jason Schoen, Frederic A. Sharf, and Wolfsonian founder Mitchell Wolfson, Jr., this exhibition showcases the range of art and design generated by New Deal programs. Special attention is given to the impact of the New Deal on South Florida, through murals for local post offices, the building of county parks, the establishment of the Key West artists’ colony, and the construction of the Overseas Highway, among other projects.

The exhibition is accompanied by the book, The New Deal in South Florida: Design, Policy, and Community Building, 1933-1940. This compilation of essays, published by the University Press of Florida, explores how local organizations with federal assistance re-shaped the South Florida landscape. It is co-edited by FIU faculty members John F. Stack, Jr. and John A. Stuart and includes essays by landscape architect Ted Baker, Wolfsonian chief curator Marianne Lamonaca, and Cornell University professor Mary Woods, as well as by the two editors.

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