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Work Projects Administration Oregon Federal Art Project collection

 Collection
Identifier: Coll 238

Scope and Contents note

The collection comprises black and white photographs of artworks made by Work Projects Administration artists and crafts people for installation at Timberline Lodge, the University of Oregon, various public schools in Oregon and Doernbecher Memorial Hospital for Children. The collection also includes watercolor paintings of draperies made for Timberline Lodge.

Dates

  • 1937

Creator

Conditions Governing Access note

Collection is open to the public. Collection must be used in Special Collections and University Archives Reading Room. Collection or parts of collection may be stored offsite. Please contact Special Collections and University Archives in advance of your visit to allow for transportation time.

Conditions Governing Use note

Property rights reside with Special Collections and University Archives, University of Oregon Libraries. Copyright resides with the creators of the documents or their heirs. All requests for permission to publish collection materials must be submitted to Special Collections and University Archives. The reader must also obtain permission of the copyright holder.

Biographical/Historical note

The Work Projects Administration (WPA) was originally named the Works Progress Administration when it was established as a national agency on May 6, 1935, by an executive order of President Franklin D. Roosevelt. It was established as a relief measure during the Great Depression and lasted until it was phased out in 1943, after it was rendered unnecessary by increased employment and reduced relief rolls. Activities of the Work Projects Administration in any given area of the country were dependent on the needs and skills of the persons on relief in that area, since the main prerequisite for WPA employment was one's certified relief status. WPA's building program included the construction of 116,000 buildings, 78,000 bridges, and 651,000 miles of road and the improvement of 800 airports. Also a part of WPA's diversified activities were the Federal Art Project, the Federal Writers' Project, and the Federal Theatre Project. Close to 10,000 drawings, paintings, and sculptured works were produced through WPA, and many public buildings (especially post offices) were decorated with murals. At its peak WPA had about 3.5 million persons on its payrolls. Altogether WPA employed a total of 8.5 million persons, and total federal appropriations for the program amounted to almost $11 billion.

In Oregon, artists and crafts people worked on projects for schools, universities, hospitals, and the Forest Service. This collection includes photographs of paintings and murals that were installed in Oregon public schools, University of Oregon and Doernbecher Memorial Hospital for Children, Portland, Oregon.

The most well known Forest Service project was the construction of Timberline Lodge on Oregon's Mt. Hood. On June 11, 1936, ground was broken for a project unique in America. Timberline Lodge was built entirely by hand, inside and out, by unemployed crafts people hired by the Federal Works Progress Administration. The work was done in an amazingly short time - the intensity of the project being due not only to the weather but also to the uncertainty of the WPA's future. From the first drawings, made in early 1936, to the dedication of the completed lodge by President Franklin Roosevelt in September 1937, only 15 months elapsed.

In 1978, Timberline Lodge was declared a National Historic Landmark.

Sources: www.infoplease.com/ce6/history/A0852725.html. See D. S. Howard, WPA and Federal Relief Policy (1943) Columbia Encyclopedia, Sixth Edition, Copyright (c) 2004. www.encyclopedia.com/html/W/WorkP1roj.asp Timberline Lodge web site: www.timberlinelodge.com/lodge/history.shtm.

Extent

0.75 linear feet (4 containers)

Language of Materials

English

Abstract

In Oregon, artists and crafts people worked on Work Projects Administration (WPA) projects for schools, universities, hospitals, and the Forest Service. This collection includes photographs of paintings and murals that were installed in Oregon public schools, University of Oregon and Doernbecher Memorial Hospital for Children, Portland, Oregon. Of interest to the researcher is the collection of photographs of woodwork, art, and paintings for Timberline Lodge, Mt. Hood, Oregon.

Arrangement note

Collection is organized into the following series: Series I. Black and white photographs of projects at Timberline Lodge by United States Work Projects Administration artists in Oregon (Project 1267); Series II. Watercolor paintings of draperies for Timberline Lodge from United States Work Projects Administration artists in Oregon; and Series III. Black/white photographs of paintings by United States Work Projects Administration artists in Oregon.

Processing Information

Collection processed by staff.

This finding aid may be updated periodically to account for new acquisitions to the collection and/or revisions in arrangement and description.
Title
Guide to the Work Projects Administration Oregon Federal Art Project Collection
Status
Complete Description
Author
Finding aid prepared by Mary Beth Hepp-Elam
Date
2004
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description
English
Script of description
Latin
Language of description note
Finding aid written in English
Sponsor
Funding for encoding this finding aid was provided through a grant awarded by the National Endowment for the Humanities.

Repository Details

Part of the University of Oregon Libraries, Special Collections and University Archives Repository

Contact:
1299 University of Oregon
Eugene OR 97403-1299 USA