http://www.doi.gov/interiormuseum/posterity.cfm” title=”New Exhibition Celebrates the WPA’s Legacy Promoting our National Parks”>New Exhibition Celebrates the WPA’s Legacy Promoting our National Parks
The Department of Interior hosts all kinds of interesting events. It’s worth monitoring their calendar. Last month, I attended two documentaries there as part of the Environmental Film Festival. One was another Ken Burns treasure titled: The National Parks: America’s Best Idea does a great job telling the story of how good policy decisions to preserve our most beautiful federal lands were heavily influenced by citizen artists whose paintings captured the imagination and adulation of elected officials. Painters like Thomas Moran, whose paintings of Yellowstone were greeted with wonder and German-American painter Alfred Bierstadt whose paintings of the American West –and the Grand Canyon in particular captured the imaginations of congressmen in the late 1800’s. We owe a great debt to artists for galvanizing government to protect millions of acres of our most spectacular wild spaces across the country.
In the early 1900’s President Teddy Roosevelt, known as “The Conservation President” inaugurated a remarkable five parks.
The WPA, Works Progress Administration –one of the largest of President Franklin Roosevelt’s “New Deal” works programs assigned staff from 1938-1941 to work in the National Parks. This collection of 50 rare and classic posters by WPA artists inspired by 36 national parks is now on view.