“Louis Schanker: The WPA Years”

From 1935-1943, thousands of artists across the country were employed by the Federal Art Project of the Works Progress Administration (WPA), a New Deal agency created to relieve unemployment during the Great Depression. The largest contingent was in New York City, where Jackson Pollock, Lee Krasner, and many of their contemporaries painted murals and canvases and made sculpture and prints for public buildings such as schools, libraries, and hospitals.

One of the most prominent WPA artists was Louis Schanker (1903-1981), who became a supervisor on both the mural and graphics divisions. The exhibition features a selection of his woodblock and linoleum block prints, including examples of the blocks themselves and process materials.

Also on view are studies for his murals at WNYC, the New York municipal radio station, and the Neponsit Beach Children's Hospital in Queens. The catalog essay by Great Berman, Ph.D., a specialist in New Deal mural painting, focuses on Schanker's three major themes: music, sports, and the circus. Works are lent by the artist's estate

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