Frank Shapiro. Raising in Early New Jersey, mural study for U.S. Post Office, Washington, New Jersey (detail). 1939
During the Great Depression, President Franklin Delano Roosevelt’s vast and progressive New Deal programs included the Federal Art Project. Murals commissioned by this division of the Works Progress Administration fused distinctive modern design with existing architecture and enlivened public and federal buildings throughout the United States. The designs often celebrated American history, diversity, agriculture, industry, and technological progress, using bold forms and bright colors. Children figured prominently and powerfully in these artistic and political statements, as they do in this study, with its idealistic portrayal of a happy family unit gathered around an open doorway suggesting possibility and prosperity.
Learn more at MoMA.org/centuryofthechild