The Federal Art Project, Photographic Division collection dates from circa 1920-1965, with the bulk of the records spanning the active years of the Federal Art Project (FAP), 1935-1942. The collection comprises 12.4 linear feet of mostly photographic prints and negatives that document primarily artwork produced by artists employed by the FAP. A smaller number of photographs also document other programs of the FAP, such as art classes and community centers, exhibitions by children and adults, artwork installed in public buildings, project divisions, and demonstrations of art processes by FAP artists.
The scattered papers of Audrey McMahon measure 0.4 linear feet and date from 1935 through 1980. Found are correspondence, writings, notes and research files, and printed material assembled mainly during the late 1960s while assisting Francis V. O'Connor complete Federal Support for the Visual Arts: The New Deal and Now (1969) and The New Deal Art Projects: An Anthology of Memoirs (1970) and, to a lesser degree, miscellaneous files relating to McMahon's activities as Regional Director of the WPA Federal Art Project for New York and New Jersey . Included are photocopies of original correspondence (1935-41) between McMahon and Holger Cahill and Brehon Somervell, held by the National Archives.
The papers of artist, photographer, museum director, anthropologist, and writer Robert Bruce Inverarity are dated circa 1840s-1997 and measure 12.7 linear feet. Biographical information, correspondence, writings and notes, subject files, art work, scrapbooks, sound recordings, printed material and photographs are found within the papers. They document Inverarity's work as Director of the Federal Art Project in Seattle and Director of the Art and Craft Project for the State of Washington, as well as his other professional work. Nineteenth century material consists of a Japanese print, printed material, and photographs.
The papers of arts administrator Mildred Baker measure 2.7 linear feet and date from 1882 to 1997, with the bulk of the material dating from 1923 to 1997. Found within the papers are biographical materials; personal and professional correspondence; writings; files related to her work on the WPA Federal Art Project and other institutional art projects; printed material; photographs of Baker; and photographs and papers related to the work of her husband, Jacob Baker, who also administered programs for the WPA.
The papers of New York art historian Francis O'Connor measure 23.4 linear feet and date from 1920-2009. Found within the papers are artist and exhibition files, questionnaires, transcripts, writings, project files, and printed material that pertain to O'Connor's research and publications on the New Deal and the Federal Arts Project of the Works Progress Administration.
The papers of Holger Cahill (1887-1960) date from 1910 to 1993, with the bulk of the material dating from 1910-1960, and measure 15.8 linear feet. The collection offers researchers fairly comprehensive documentation of Cahill's directorship of the Works Progress/Projects Administration's (WPA) Federal Art Project (FAP) in addition to series documenting his work as a writer and art critic. Material includes correspondence, reports, artist files, scrapbooks, printed material, and photographs.
The papers of Florence Arquin measure 8.2 linear feet and date from 1923 to 1985. The papers document Arquin's career as a painter, photographer, educator, writer, and critic through biographical material, correspondence, writings, teaching and project files, printed material, photographs, artwork, and scrapbooks. Additionally, the papers relate to her personal relationships with her husband Samuel Williams and friends, Diego Rivera and Frida Kahlo. Teaching and project files include material from Arquin's work with the Federal Art Project at the Art Institute of Chicago and as director of the U.S. State Department's Kodachrome Slide Project, which was part of an effort to provide educational agencies with visual aids to support Latin American Studies.
The records of the National Society of Mural Painters measure 13.1 linear feet and date from 1895 to circa 2007. The activities of the society are documented through administrative files, membership files, correspondence, committee files, exhibition and competition files, artist files, financial and legal records, printed material, a scrapbook, and photographic materials.
The papers of New York painter and muralist George Biddle (1885-1973), measure 0.76 linear feet and date from circa 1910-1970. The collection includes a certificate signed by President Harry Truman, transcripts of Biddle's diaries, a manuscript of a memoir about meeting President Franklin Roosevelt, three letters from William Hunt Diederich's daughter, transcripts of letters from Bernard Berenson, sketches and mural studies, and two glass plate negatives.
The papers of Los Angeles painters and art instructors Lorser Feitelson and Helen Lundeberg measure 15.6 linear feet and date from circa 1890s to 2002. The papers document the careers of the two artists, including their establishment of the Post-surrealism movement in southern California, their work for federal arts programs, and their later abstract artwork. Found are biographical materials, correspondence, personal business records, exhibition files, printed materials, photographs, and one sound recording.