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The Newark Experience: Federal Arts Projects

WPA Posters

Angelo Tartaglia. Poster Poster for an exhibit at the New Jersey Federal Art Gallery on William Street in Newark.

Angelo Tartaglia. Poster Poster for a WPA regional exhibit at the Montclair Museum.

Poster Poster for a WPA regional exhibit at the Federal Art Gallery in New York City, August 16 to September 8, 1938.

Irving Russell. Poster Poster for an exhibit of New Jersey paintings at the Federal Art Gallery on William Street in Newark.

Vincent Murphy. "Kissing Spreads Disease". Poster for the Newark Department of Health.

Vincent Murphy. "Your Government Stands Behind You". Poster about the Federal Housing Plan.

Vincent Murphy. Festival of Music Under the Stars. Poster for a concert at Tri-City Stadium in Union.

Federal Arts Projects

New Deal Art, New Jersey.
Text by Hildreth York. An exhibition organized by the Museum Training Program, Newark College of Arts and Sciences of Rutgers University and the Newark Museum. Newark, N.J. Rutgers University, Newark College of Arts and Sciences, 1980.
This exhibition catalog and the York article in New Jersey History are basic resources for information on federal Works projects in New Jersey. Includes the history of the projects; discussion of individual works; selected bibliography; list of New Jersey artists; and a list of New Jersey murals. Many illustrations. Available?
"The New Deal Art Projects in New Jersey,"
Hildreth York. New Jersey History 98, Fall-Winter 1980, 133-174. Available?
New Deal Art Exhibit Materials of Hildreth York, 1980.
Collection at the New Jersey State Archives. "Includes B&W photographs, slides, the exhibit catalogue, newspaper articles and reviews."
Murals Without Walls : Arshile Gorky's Aviation Murals Rediscovered.
Ruth Bowman, guest curator. Newark, N.J. : Newark Museum, 1978.
In 1935 Armenian-born Arshile Gorky was employed by the Federal Art Project to produce a large mural for the new Administration building at the Newark airport. Lost for decades, two of the ten panels (now in the Newark Museum) were rediscovered in the 1970s. O'Connor, Francis V. "Arshile Gorky's Newark Airport Murals: The History of Their Making," pp. 17-29; Jordan, Jim M. "The Place of the Newark Murals in Gorky's Art," pp. 47-64. Available?
"Arshile Gorkys Lehrjahre. [Arshile Gorky's Apprenticeship],"
Alexander Alberro. Texte zur Kunst 20(77), March 2010, pp.206-213, 145-150.
Includes discussion of Gorky's work for the WPA.
My Murals for the Newark Airport: An Interpretation
Arshile Gorky. Essay originally written for a proposed report to Congress on the value of the Works Progress Administration's Federal Art Project (WPA/FAP). A slightly different version of the essay appears in Murals Without Walls pp. 13-16.
"Murals Without Walls,"
Frederick T. Kiesler. Art Front 3 (December 1936), 10-11.
Contemporary account of Arshile Gorky's murals for the Newark Airport. Reprinted in Murals Without Walls. Available?
Ruth Bowman Papers on Arshile Gorky "Murals Without Walls" Exhibition, 1930-1980
Newark Museum finding aid for the curatorial notes and research materials compiled in preparation for the 1978 exhibition.
Romuald Kraus' Justice [Photograph]
Model for Kraus' Justice
Bronze cast with which Kraus won the competition for the Newark Courthouse Justice. Photograph and brief history of the controversy.
"Justice, Unblindfolded, Raises Newark Row,"
Art Digest 10, December 15, 1935, p.17. Available?
Romuald Kraus: Justice and Other Works for the Works Progress Administration, 1933-1943.
Eddie-Sue McDowell. Thesis (M.A.), University of Louisville, 1992. Available?
Romuald Kraus Collection (1891-1954)
Finding aid for the collection in the Bridwell Art Library at the University of Louisville. Collection includes newpapers articles, letters, and photos relating to the Kraus "Justice."
"Not Legally Admitted to Newark's Federal Court House,"
Art Digest 13, February 1, 1939, p.14.
Judge rejects Tanner M. Clark's murals depicting court's work on behalf children as potentially prejudicial. Available?
Michael Lenson: Real and Surreal
Janet Marqusee. Biographical essay on painter and muralist Michael Lenson who headed up New Jersey's Mural and Easal Divison for the WPA, and later (1944-1946) served as Director of the Newark School of Fine and Industrial Arts.
Interview with Michael Lenson
Harlan Phillips. Transcript of 1964 interview for the Archives of American Art. Focuses on Lenson's work with the WPA in New Jersey.
"Interview with Michael Lenson,"
Massachusetts Review 44(3), Fall 2003, pp.421-452.
Transcript of Harlan Phillips interview, with an introduction by David Lenson and photographs. Rutgers-restricted Access
Lenson Murals
Photographs of Lenson murals including the "History of Newark" in City Hall; "The Enlightenment of Man," at Weequahic High School; and "The Four Freedoms" at the 14th Avenue School.