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Art & Culture During the Great Depression. The New Deal Taking office in March 1933, President Franklin D. Roosevelt’s New Deal relief measures were sent.

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Presentation on theme: "Art & Culture During the Great Depression. The New Deal Taking office in March 1933, President Franklin D. Roosevelt’s New Deal relief measures were sent."— Presentation transcript:

1 Art & Culture During the Great Depression

2 The New Deal Taking office in March 1933, President Franklin D. Roosevelt’s New Deal relief measures were sent to Congress and within months, most of the acts the president wanted were passed. New Mexicans welcomed New Deal programs of all kinds. Some of the New Deal programs, such as the Works Progress Administration (WPA), put people to work in varying jobs: writers, artists, and musicians practiced their trades as employees of WPA projects, while others who worked for the WPA built schools and other public buildings, including the library and the administration building at the University of New Mexico. By 1936 more than thirteen thousand New Mexicans had found jobs through this program.

3 Public Works of Art Project (PWA) and The Federal Arts Project (FAP) Between 1933 – 1943, in the depth of the depression, 167 known artists lived in New Mexico, all struggling to sell art in a time when many Americans had little money available even for necessities. The New Deal’s Works Progress Administration Art Project provided an opportunity for artists to create artwork for public buildings, allowing them to remain independent, support their families, and enrich and enhance the community.

4 The Indian New Deal in New Mexico The Indian Reorganization Act of June 18, 1934, sometimes known as the Indian New Deal, was U.S. federal legislation that secured certain rights to Native Americans, including Alaska Natives. These include actions that contributed to the reversal of the Dawes Act's privatization of communal holdings of American Indian tribes and a return to local self- government on a tribal basis. The Act also restored to Indians the management of their assets (being mainly land) and included provisions intended to create a sound economic foundation for the inhabitants of Indian reservations. President Roosevelt appointed John Collier as Commissioner of Indian Affairs (1933 – 1945). Collier took full advantage of New Deal funds to promote Indian arts and crafts, increase employment, improve infrastructure on reservations, and construct schools. Collier was an idealist who struggled to reform federal Indian policy during his twelve-year term. Years earlier, during a 1920 visit to his close friend, Taoshe had embraced Pueblo Indian culture as offering nothing less than salvation from the ills of Western Civilization.

5 Famous Artists of New Mexico According to the New Mexico Art Museum, the following New Mexico artists were among the many employed in WPA projects: Pablita Velarde, Maria Martinez, Ila McAfee, Gerald Cassidy, Will Shuster, Lloyd Moylan, Gisella Loeffler, Eliseo Rodriguez, Kenneth Adams, Fremont F. Ellis and Peter Hurd. The area coordinator of the WPA’s Public Works of Art Project was woodblock printer, painter and marionette-maker Gustave Baumann, a leading member of the Santa Fe art community. More than 65 murals with varied subject materials were created in New Mexico during the Depression. In addition to these murals, the WPA sponsored more than 650 paintings, ten sculptural pieces, and numerous indigenous Hispanic Native American crafts.

6 The Harlem Renaissance The Harlem Renaissance was a cultural movement that spanned the 1920s. At the time, it was known as the "New Negro Movement", named after the 1925 anthology by Alain Locke. The Movement also included the new African- American cultural expressions across the urban areas in the Northeast and Midwest United States affected by the Great Migration (African American), of which Harlem was the largest. Though it was centered in the Harlem neighborhood of New York City, in addition, many francophone black writers from African and Caribbean colonies who lived in Paris were also influenced by the Harlem Renaissance

7 Harlem Renaissance: Writing The most important writing for the Harlem Renaissance was Nigerati. The Niggerati was the name used, with deliberate irony, by Wallace Thurman for the group of young African American artists and intellectuals of the Harlem Renaissance. "Niggerati" is a portmanteau of "nigger" and "literati". The rooming house where he lived, and where that group often met, was similarly christened Niggerati Manor. The group included Zora Neale Hurston, Langston Hughes, and several of the people behind Thurman's journal FIRE!! (which lasted for one issue in 1926), such as Richard Bruce Nugent (the associate editor of the journal), Jonathan Davis, Gwendolyn Bennett, and Aaron Douglas.

8 If we must die, let it not be like hogs Hunted and penned in an inglorious spot, While round us bark the mad and hungry dogs, Making their mock at our accursèd lot. If we must die, O let us nobly die, So that our precious blood may not be shed In vain; then even the monsters we defy Shall be constrained to honor us though dead! O kinsmen! we must meet the common foe! Though far outnumbered let us show us brave, And for their thousand blows deal one death- blow! What though before us lies the open grave? Like men we'll face the murderous, cowardly pack, Pressed to the wall, dying, but fighting back!

9 The Harlem Renaissance: Intellectuals In Alain LeRoy Locke’s 1925 the essay “The New Negro” stated how African American’s have imbedded themselves into United States Culture. Many of these intellectuals were the first African Americans to do create writing and filmmaking. The main contributors were W. E. B. Du Bois, James Weldon Johnson, Charles Spurgeon Johnson, and Marcus Grevy.

10 Who was S.B. Fuller?

11 The Harlem Reissuance: “Negrotarian” Patrons Many writers took inspiration from this cultural movement. People such as Charlotte Mason, Carl Van Vetchen, and Arthur Spigmen all have had influence in the Harlem Reissuance whether it be education reform, photography, or writing.

12 Aspects of African American Culture During the Depression In 1929, the Great Depression devastated the United States. Hard times came to people throughout the country, especially rural blacks. Cotton prices plunged from eighteen to six cents a pound. Two thirds of some two million black farmers earned nothing or went into debt. Hundreds of thousands of sharecroppers left the land for the cities, leaving behind abandoned fields and homes. Even "Negro jobs" -- jobs traditionally held by blacks, such as busboys, elevator operators, garbage men, porters, maids, and cooks -- were sought by desperate unemployed whites.

13 Music of the Great Depression The Great Depression spawned various artists of many different genres. Most popular was Jazz combos and Big Bands. Variety of new forms of jazz, blues, folk, pop, and classical were made. Music was growing in popularity and it connected many people during these hard times. Whether there was songs of saddens or protest, many artists impacted American culture greatly.

14 Jazz Although masses were appealed by all kinds of Jazz during the Great Depression such as Blues and Bebop, swing was by far the most popular. Swing is the basic rhythm of jazz. Swinging means being in sync with other people and loving it. Swing as a jazz style first appeared during the Great Depression. The optimistic feeling of swing lifted the spirits of everyone in America. By the mid-1930s, a period known as the "swing" era, big bands were playing this style of music. Orchestra leaders such as Duke Ellington, Count Basie, Fletcher Henderson, Paul Whiteman, and Benny Goodman led some of the greatest bands of the era. mk

15 The Duke Edward Ellington was b far the most influential and biggest jazz artist of the Great Depression. He not only lead the swing era, but captivated his audiences with unique performances. Although his instrument was the piano what he really played was the band itself by making the jazz orchestra and big band popular.

16 The Sounds of Protest The 1930s also saw the continuing growth of the union and labor movements (the IWW claimed at its peak in 1923 some 100,000 members), as well as widespread poverty due to the Great Depression and the Dust Bowl, which inspired musicians and singers to decry the harsh realities which they saw all around them. It was against this background that folk singer Aunt Molly Jackson was singing songs with striking Harlan coal miners in Kentucky in 1931, and writing protest songs such as "Hungry Ragged Blues" and "Poor Miner's Farewell," which depicted the struggle for social justice in a Depression-ravaged America. In New York City, Marc Blitzstein's opera/musical The Cradle Will Rock, a pro-union musical directed by Orson Welles, was produced in 1937. However, it proved to be so controversial that it was shut down for fear of social unrest.

17 Leftovers To say that only Jazz music was dominant during the great depression would be inaccurate. Many artists of other realms became household names that boomed the radio industry.

18 The Film Industry Many industries during the great depression failed miserably, but the movie industry strived greater than any one could have expected. This culminated into what we now refer to as the golden age of Hollywood. For 15 cents one could watch a double feature, have a cooked meal and forget about all the troubles in the world.

19 Women of Hollywood Any young women who can sing and dance was encouraged to go to Hollywood. These actresses got paid on average $125 a month compared to the normal work forces $35 dollars. However they earned every cent with their 17 hour a day schedules and often filmed two movies at once. Filmmakers were getting away with more and more on the screen until the LOD (Legion of Decency), a catholic group threatened to boycott films. RPE

20 R.I.P Shirley Temple

21 The History: Tales Telling Transitions to Talkies Film companies lost thousands of dollars when they had to transfer into the talkies. Most companies were on the verge of going out of business. It seemed like the art form was dying. MGM was particularly stubborn and thought that sound was a fad like 3D glasses or drive-in theaters. Eventually they changed and produced some of the greatest films under the direction of Fleming.

22 Radio Killed the Printed Star The invention of the radio gave people a connection to the outside world. Radios were every where whether it be households, cars, or bus stations. People who lost everything would give up their radios because it was there connection to people. Comedians were the first to effectively use the radio. Comedians told hundreds of jokes a week, and many variety shows also came about. FDR was one of few presidents who could effectively communicate through radio.

23 The Hindenburg Incident Radio gave some of the largest events ever to American homes. The fear and excitement of the Hindenburg incident is one the moments in history that showed the potential of radio. Other meaningful events include the war raging in Europe and the Limburg child.

24 War of the Worldss: The Hoax of the Century (Other then the Piltdown Man) The War of the Worlds is an episode of the American radio drama anthology series The Mercury Theatre on the Air. It was performed as a Halloween episode of the series on October 30, 1938, and aired over the Columbia Broadcasting System radio network. Directed and narrated by actor and future filmmaker Orson Welles, the episode was an adaptation of H. G. Wells's novel The War of the Worlds. As America got better people began to trust the radio. About 25% of listen thought the attack was real. With the war in Europe people were on edge. Orson apologized the next day.

25 National Arts With the Federal Arts Program in full swing painters and photographers were given opportunities to show emotion through there work. “I have sympathy for Mr. {Franklin} Roosevelt because he marches straight toward his objectives over Congress, lobbies and bureaucracy”


27 We sit looking at the floor. No one dares think of the coming winter. There are only a few more days of summer. Everyone is anxious to get work to lay up something for that long siege of bitter cold. But there is no work. Sitting in the room we all know it. That is why we don't talk much. We look at the floor dreading to see that knowledge in each other's eyes. There is a kind of humiliation in it. We look away from each other. We look at the floor. It's too terrible to see this animal terror in each other's eyes...

28 The 1930s was a very important decade in American literature. American literary giants like John Steinbeck, Henry Miller, Margaret Mitchell, and F. Scott Fitzgerald published works during this period. Depression era literature was often blunt and direct in its social criticism. Steinbeck often wrote about poor, working-class people and their struggle to lead a decent and honest life. The Grapes of Wrath is considered his masterpiece. Nathaniel West's short novel The Day of the Locust, which introduces a cast of Hollywood stereotypes and explores the ironies of the movies, has become a classic of American literature. Writers of the Great Depression

29 Dance Marathons Dance marathons was a huge part of entertainment in the first half of the great depression. People would dance for days just for a single prize. Some dances would lasts for months. Many people paid just to see the dancers and their stunts. Many dance marathons had staged dancers that pretended to be crazy.

30 The Golden Age of Baseball When the Great Depression struck, many baseball owners feared the worst. They would have trouble drawing fans. The fans they did draw would have a hard time paying for the extra souvenirs or food concessions. Little did they know, people would still come to the ballpark if only to forget about their own troubles for a while. Attendance would be down in the 1930s but none of the sixteen franchises ever folded or moved as a result of the Great Depression. New ways of playing emerged, lasting vestiges of the game emerged, and a new era of baseball had begun.

31 The Golden Age of Comics Comic Book Heroes began spawning from all sorts of different writers, To enlighten and entertain the imaginations of both Children and Adults. Action Comics #1 is considered by some to be the first superhero comic, Making Superman the one of the world's first comic book superheros to be created. Even though there had been comic books before the 1900's, these were called comic strips DC was one of the first comic book publishing companies to do entirely original stories, rather than reprinting comic strips. Because of Superman's popularity during that period, superhero comic books slowly began to dominate that era in comic book history.

32 TV? Toward the very end of the Great Depression people were looking to the future. New technology was on the horizon and one invention to kick start this was the television. A lucky few had one, and there was hardly any programs. Still radio companies saw the potential and invested in television broadcasting before the boom in the 50’s.

33 Designing Tomorrow explores the modernist spectacles of architecture and design they witnessed -- visions of a brighter future during the worst economic crisis the United States had known. The fairs popularized modern design for the American public and promoted the idea of science and consumerism as salvation from the Great Depression. Back to the Future

34 Work Cited McElvain, Robert. The Great Depression. 1st ed. New York: Crown Publishing Group, 1984. Print. Watkins, T.H. The Great Depression. 1st. ed. Chicago: Blackside, 1993. Print. Terkel, Studs. Hard Times. 1st. ed. New York: W.W. Norton & Company, 1970. Print. Golay, Michael. America 1933. 1st. ed. New York: Free Press, 2013. Print. Ruth, Amy. Growing Up in the Great Deppression. Minneapolis: Lerner, 2003. Print.

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