Offsite Visit: The Block Museum’s Special Collections: WPA Prints

Friday, October 11, 2019
2 p.m.
The Block Museum’s Eloise W. Martin Study Center
40 Arts Circle Drive
Evanston, IL 60208

$10 for Spudnik Press Members
Register Online

Join Spudnik Press staff for a private viewing of original WPA prints housed at the Block Museum’s Eloise W. Martin Study Center. Spudnik members will have the chance to speak with Block Museum curators about these special posters, their lasting effect on fine art printmaking, and their contribution to the visual arts in Chicago.

After the 2pm private viewing and conversation, we’ll head over to the galleries to check out prints in the Pop América exhibition.

About the WPA Posters

In 1935, President Franklin Delano Roosevelt established the WPA (Works Progress Administration) and the Federal Art Project (FAP) as part of his New Deal program to put millions of unemployed Americans back to work. The FAP employed more than five thousand artists in various art projects, including the many poster divisions that were created throughout the United States.

The WPA posters are some of the best known works to be produced through the FAP program. The silkscreen, lithograph, and woodcut posters produced between 1936 and 1943 depicted government programs and projects, ranging from health and public safety, to promoting newly formed national parks. Throughout the duration of the WPA art projects, over two million posters were printed from 35,000 designs. Today, only about two thousand are known to exist anymore. Richard Floethe, head of the New York poster division, wrote in a 1930’s essay that “the government unwittingly launched a movement to improve the commercial poster and raise it to a true art form.”

About The Block Museum’s Eloise W. Martin Study Center

The Block is a dynamic, imaginative, and innovative teaching and learning resource for Northwestern and the surrounding Chicagoland communities. The museum features a global exhibition program, in which diverse time periods and cultures interact, serving as a springboard for thought-provoking discussions relevant to our lives today.

Current Exhibition: Pop América, 1965–1975

Pop América, 1965–1975 challenges and reframes familiar notions of Pop Art by bringing together artists from North, Central, and South America, as well as the United States and the Caribbean. Pop América is the first exhibition to unify Latin American and LatinX expressions of Pop and explore how artists working across the hemisphere embraced its bold and colorful imagery, references to mass culture, and representations of everyday objects, signs, and symbols.

Registration Details:

Advanced registration is required as the tour is limited to 15 participants. The non-refundable registration fee can be paid online. The Block Museum is easily accessible via public transportation; however, staff will assist with transportation by coordinating a carpool to and from Evanston, as needed.

If you are not a member and wish to participate in this off-site visit, please join or renew your membership.