Work Projects Administration posters collection

Collection V99

1933-1941, undated
(2.3 Linear feet 7 boxes)

Summary Information

Historical Society of Pennsylvania
United States. Work Projects Administration.
Work Projects Administration posters collection
1933-1941, undated
2.3 Linear feet 7 boxes
Graphic materials (00007331) [Box]
Graphic materials (00007332) [Box]
Graphic materials (00007329) [Box]
Graphic materials (00007330) [Box]
Graphic materials (00007327) [Box]
Graphic materials (00007328) [Box]
Graphic materials (00007326) [Box]
The Works Progress Administration (WPA) was created in 1935 and renamed the Work Projects Administration in 1939. Part of President Franklin Roosevelt’s New Deal, it was a federal agency to provide work to unemployed people. The Federal Art Project (FAP) was formed as a part of the WPA in 1935. The primary goals of FAP were to promote American art and artists; increase art education, especially for children; and research the history of American art and design. FAP subsidiaries were eventually formed in each state; in Pennsylvania the program was called the Pennsylvania Art Project (PAP). It employed artists such as Charles Reed Gardner (1901-1974), Dox Thrash (1892-1965), and Michael J. Gallagher (1898-1965), who created numerous works for the war effort; public buildings, displays, and exhibitions; and for the general support of American art and graphic design. At the beginning of the project, posters were created by hand. By the project’s final years, most posters were being mass produced through the use of silk screening processes. The Work Projects Administration posters collection consists of over five hundred examples of artworks produced primarily by PAP artists during the early 1940s, including photographs, prints, costume plates, drawings, and watercolors. The styles and subjects of the artworks are quite diverse and range from watercolors depicting laborers and landscapes, to woodblock prints inviting visitors to the Philadelphia Museum of Art and the Philadelphia Zoo, to costume plates showing the daily wear of Romanian peasants. The collection also includes textiles and numerous photographs from theatre performances.

Preferred Citation note

Cite as: [Indicate cited item or series here], Work Projects Administration posters collection (Collection V99), The Historical Society of Pennsylvania.

Return to Table of Contents »

Administrative Information

Publication Information

 Historical Society of Pennsylvania ; August 2009

1300 Locust Street
Philadelphia, PA, 19107

Conditions Governing Access note

The collection is open for research.

Immediate Source of Acquisition note

This collection was allocated to the Historical Society of Pennsylvania by the Work Projects Administration, War Services Project, March 3, 1943.

Return to Table of Contents »

Related Materials

Related Archival Materials note

At the Historical Society of Pennsylvania:

Charlotte Angus artwork for the Work Projects Administration (Collection 3234)

Franklin Syres artwork for the Work Projects Administration (Collection 3275)

Works Progress Administration California Art Research Project reproductions (PG168)

Works Progress Administration of Pennsylvania watercolors (Collection 3241)

At other institutions:

Works Progress Administration Records (Manuscript Group 400, Pennsylvania State Archives, Harrisburg, PA.

Return to Table of Contents »

Collection Inventory

Box 1: Posters, A-G   ; 1 box

Arrangement note

Box 1, folder 1: Charlotte Angus – Amish Children; The Dutch Cradle; Amish Country (undated, 1940)

Box 1, folder 2: Clyde Arnold – Old Matthews Place (undated)

Box 1, folder 3: Herman Bacharach – Gods Armine; Tortillas; Venus and a Ghost (undated)

Box 1, folder 4: Eleanor Banks – Watermelon Man; Want Ads; Storm Signals [2 prints]; Serenade (undated)

Box 1, folder 5: A. Barker – Poplars in June; The Shadow of the Apple Tree (undated)

Box 1, folder 6: Albert W. Barker – Upper Barn [2 copies] (undated)

Box 1, folder 7: Gerardo Belfiore – Ephrata Cloisters; Along the Schuylkill; Midcity; College Hall; Landscape; Southbound (undated)

Box 1, folder 8: N. Bervinchak – Between Shifts; End of the Shift; The Coal Breaker; Anthracite’s Cliffs; Wayside’s Snack; Snowy Plumes [2 copies]; Country Charm; At the Window; Hunting (undated)

Box 1, folder 9: Julius Bloch – The Green Pastures [3 copies]; Dead Soldier (undated)

Box 1, folder 10: Adolph Blondheim – Stone Crusher; Water Tanks; Canal; Rubber Mill; Hill Farm [2 copies]; Main Street; Village; Paper Mill; New Hope; Town Houses (undated)

Box 1, folder 11: Sol Carson – Dependent; Meal Time; The Etcher; Sleeping Head; Tired Out (undated)

Box 1, folders 12-15: Page Coffman – Five Sketches for Mural; Philadelphia -- The Green Country; Sketch for William Penn Mural; Watercolor for Mural of William Penn; Sketch for William Penn Mural (1939, undated)

Box 1, folder 16: Gordon Deacon – Horn Bills [2 copies]; Swans (undated)

Box 1, folder 17: Louis R. Dougherty – Composition of the Constitution Convention (undated)

Box 1, folder 18: Mildred Elfman – High Tension; Summer Outlet (undated)

Box 1, folders 19-20: Horatio C. Forjohn – Brick Yard; Defense Still; Liquid Steel; Rockford Road; Lost; Fog; Lithography; Night Exploring; The Watchman; Let’s Prevent It; Gas Tanks; Winter Night; Last Land/S. Phila. (undated)

Box 1, folders 21-22: Michael J. Gallagher – End of the Day; Boot-leg Coal; November Day; A Man’s Job; The Sculptor; Back Road; Block County; Mine Cave In; Fishing Creek; The Wood Gatherer; Stone Barn; Little Gray House; The Lynching (2 prints); Song of the Ax; Morning Hawkins; Catalpa Tree; Nancy Jane [3 prints]; Sleeping Girl [2 copies]; Cloud Bursts [2 prints]; Down By the Run [2 prints] (undated)

Box 1, folder 23: Charles Reed Gardner – Tapping the Furnace; Paper Making [3 prints]; Mixer -- Paper Mill; Snow Shovelers; Laying the Cable/Street Lighting; Fairmount Park; Mountain Pines [2 prints]; Winter Fog; Wind [3 prints]; Design; Penguins; Santa Maria (undated)

Box 1, folder 24: C. Garlinski – The Delaware River [2 prints]; Liberty For All (undated)

Box 1, folder 25: Edward Gillespie – Rittenhouse; Noon Glow; Last Summer (undated)

Box 1, folder 26: Grace Green - L Station (1935)

Return to Table of Contents »

Box 2: Posters, H-P   ; 1 box

Arrangement note

Box 2, folder 1: Abraham P. Hankin – Labor (undated)

Box 2, folder 2: Leslie Henderson – The Merry Go-Round [2 prints]; The Scissor Artist (undated)

Box 2, folder 3: Richard Hood – Clark’s Park; Alms; Clammers; Make Up [2 prints]; Practice; Tony’s Place; Conference; Corn Husking, Stevedores, Turkey Farms; Winter [2 prints] (1935)

Box 2, folder 4: Hilda Husick – Trio (undated)

Box 2, folder 5: Leo Kraske – Untitled [2 prints] (undated)

Box 2, folder 6: Paul Laessle – Night Goings On [3 prints] (undated)

Box 2, folder 7: Wayne Larabee – Hillside (undated)

Box 2, folder 8: Michael Leone – Carmen; R.R. Bridge over Schuylkill River; Golden Gloves Tournament; The Barker (undated)

Box 2, folder 9: Herschel Levitt – Drought (1940)

Box 2, folder 10: Philip Levone – Manayunk Garden (undated)

Box 2, folder 11: Sidney P. Lomas – Thomas Jefferson; James Madison; James Monroe; John Quincy Adams (undated)

Box 2, folder 12: Alexander Macchione – The Wharf (undated)

Box 2, folder 13: Hubert Mesibov – Football; Youth Concert; Subway Express; Subway Terminal (2 prints); Untitled (2 prints); Local Draft Board (undated)

Box 2, folder 14: L. Montgomery – Landscape Sketch Proposed for Naval Hospital (1941)

Box 2, folders 15-16: F. Townsend Morgan – Tenements—The Mine Hole [3 prints]; The Creek at Rose Valley; The Eastern Shore; Dry Docks; Quiet Harbor (1933-34)

Box 2, folders 17-18: Peter Murcko – St. Patrick’s Church, Plymouth, Pa.; Greek Church (1941, undated)

Box 2, folder 19: Jack Ovchorov – Miner (undated)

Box 2, folder 20: Edward Palmer – Pioneer Plowing [with one person]; Pioneer Plowing [with two people] (undated)

Box 2, folder 21: Salvatore Pinto – Locomotive [2 prints]; Trolley Car (undated)

Box 2, folder 22: Possoff – Watch Your Step, Work With Care, Fairmount in Winter; Untitled [2 prints] (undated)

Box 2, folder 23: Bryant Pringle – Port of Philadelphia; Arc Welding (undated)

Box 2, folder 24: Mary A. Procopio – Romany Row (undated)

Return to Table of Contents »

Box 3: Posters, R-U   ; 1 box

Arrangement note

Box 3, folder 1: Mark Raditz – Early Money Trans (circa 1937)

Box 3, folder 2: James Reid – Zebra; Chipmunks (undated)

Box 3, folder 3: Bessie Rigrodsky – Engine Yard; Sawdust Dispenser; Old Relic; Idle Factory; Drawbridge [2 prints] (undated)

Box 3, folder 4: Fingal Rosenquist – Untitled [2 prints] (undated)

Box 3, folders 5-6: John Sante – Sand Dunes; Earring; Rockdale Road; Dunes (undated)

Box 3, folder 7: William Schultz – Transplanting; Side Street (undated)

Box 3, folder 8: Isadore Simon – Just Watching; Boat House Row (undated)

Box 3, folder 9: Julius Sommer – Untitled [2 prints] (undated)

Box 3, folder 10: Sara Starekow – Abstraction; Irving Street; Carnival; Untitled (1940)

Box 3, folder 11: Sara Starekow – Abstraction [2 prints] (1940)

Box 3, folder 12: Steth, Raymond – Apostolic [2 prints]; Southern Barbecue; Dispair; Debris; I Am An American (undated)

Box 3, folders 13-15: Dox Thrash – Ebony Joe; Still Life; Alice; Enice; Backstage; Coal Dust; Manda; Bole Monday; Silas; Heave; Inveigling; Monday Morning Wash; Harmonica Blues; The Freight Yard; Coal Yard; Nursery Rhyme; Evening Tide; Jenny; Sunday Morning; Played Out; Whiskers; Cabin Days; Mt. Zion; Charlotte; Deacon’s Well; Dwellings; Portrait; Eaist Siad; Happy Journey; Linda [3 prints] (undated)

Box 3, folder 16: John Turner – Rear View; Spring Planting; Winter Twilight; Hoeing Corn; Bus Stop; Quarry Pattern (undated)

Box 3, folders 17-18: R.W. Webster – Gary d’ Estroust; Winter on the Delaware, Chester, Pa.; Philadelphia Skyline from the Reading Ferry; Old Barge on Schuylkill; Schuylkill Now East of University Bridge [2 prints]; Delaware River North of Pier 15 (Philadelphia); Chestnut Street W/ Half; Slome (undated)

Box 3, folders 19-21: Roswell Weidner – Dox Thrash; Valley Farm; Schuylkill River; Industrial Town; Ruins; The Lake (2 prints); The State Fair; Flowers; Three Flights Up; Dredge; Still Life With Mandolin; Dorcas; Summer Night; The Garden; Winter on Spring Street; Aquarium (undated)

Box 3, folder 22: Louise Welsh – Concord School House (undated)

Box 3, folder 23: Stewart Wheeler – Kitchen Police, Art Appreciation; Windy Bush Farm (undated)

Box 3, folders 24-26: Unidentified Artists, untitled prints

Return to Table of Contents »

Boxes 4-5: Miscellaneous Posters   ; 2 boxes

Arrangement note

Box 4, folders 1-3: American Military Uniform of Revolutionary Period [45 prints and duplicates] (undated)

Box 4, folder 4: Army Hand Signals (undated)

Box 4, folder 5: Astronomy (undated)

Box 4, folder 6: A. Barker – Poplars in June (undated)

Box 4, folder 7: Blueprints, Historic American Building Survey (undated)

Box 4, folder 8: Samuel Brown – Abstract; Wash Girl (undated)

Box 4, folder 9: Cancer Fund Poster (undated)

Box 4, folder 10: Civil Defense Poster [2 prints] (undated)

Box 4, folder 11: Claude Clarke – Scavenger; Sharecropper; Dancers; In the Groove; Boogie Woogie; Time Out; Old Swedes Church; Cradle of Liberty (undated)

Box 4, folder 12: Costumes-European [31 prints] (undated)

Box 4, folder 13: Farms and Farming [6 prints] (undated)

Box 4, folder 14: Fish and Game Commission Posters [4 prints] (undated)

Box 4, folder 15: Flag Day (undated)

Box 4, folder 16: Flowers [3 prints] (undated)

Box 4, folder 17: Food Conservation (undated)

Box 4, folder 18: Free Library [5 prints] and School Library [1 print] (undated)

Box 4, folder 19: Independence Hall [9 prints] (undated)

Box 4, folder 20: Know Other Lands/Travel Posters [3 prints] (undated)

Box 5, folders 1-3: Military Uniforms of the Revolutionary Period [32 prints] (undated)

Box 5, folder 4: Music (undated)

Box 5, folder 5: Pennsylvania Art Program [3 prints] (undated)

Box 5, folder 6: Pennsylvania Art Project – Philadelphia [4 prints] (undated)

Box 5, folder 7: Photographs [9 photographs] (undated)

Box 5, folder 8: Poster - Early Folk Art in Pennsylvania [2 prints] (undated)

Box 5, folder 9: Poster - Exhibition of Prints (undated)

Box 5, folder 10: Poster - Fantastic and Abstract Art exhibition (undated)

Box 5, folder 11: Poster - I Am An American (undated)

Box 5, folder 12: Poster - Liberty for All- Keep ’Em Flying (undated)

Box 5, folder 13: Poster - Philadelphia Homes Registration Office (undated)

Box 5, folder 14: Proof Sheet of Brochure Covers for the Philadelphia Museum of Art (undated)

Box 5, folder 15: Rural Pennsylvania [5 prints] (undated)

Box 5, folder 16: Safety Posters [9 prints] (undated)

Box 5, folder 17: School Lunch Program (undated)

Box 5, folder 18: Sculpture Exhibit [3 prints] (undated)

Box 5, folder 19: Signaling [2 prints] (undated)

Box 5, folder 20: Zoo and Aquarium [6 prints] (undated)

Return to Table of Contents »

Boxes 6-7: Miscellaneous photographs, posters, textiles, and other documents   ; 2 boxes

Arrangement note

Box 6, folder 1: Federal Theatre Photographs (undated)

Box 6, folder 2: “One Third of a Nation,” Federal Theatre Project [blue-prints and photographs] (undated)

Box 6, folder 3: Miscellaneous posters (undated)

Box 6, folders 4-9: Linen towels (undated)

Box 7, folders 1-6: Miscellaneous documents, photographs, and costume designs

Return to Table of Contents »