Articulated: Dispatches from the Archives of American Art

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Since 1958, the Archives of American Art’s oral history program has preserved the distinct voices and human memory of the American art world in more than 2,500 interviews.  Articulated draws on those interviews of the famous and the forgotten, featuring firsthand accounts from artists, dealers, writers, and other key figures, in dialogue with today’s thought leaders. Their expansive conversations and often surprising memories challenge us to see the world and our shared history in new and unimagined ways.

Ben Gillespie, Arlene and Robert Kogod Secretarial Scholar for Oral History
Michelle Herman, Head of Digital Experience
Deanna Luu, Graphic Designer
Musical Theme: “Sound and Smoke," composed by Viet Cuong and performed by the Peabody Wind Ensemble with Harlan Parker conducting

Articulated is supported by the Alice L. Walton Foundation.

  • The diversity, breadth, and ubiquity of New Deal arts projects reveal both the country's sense of what art was and how it should shape the American people. This episode examines cultural democracy, or the role of the arts in civic life and what art means for a nation. While the momentum and volume of New Deal production laid the foundation for a distinct artistic culture in the United States, questions remain as to the distinctiveness of a national arts tradition and Americanness Itself.  

  • The Archives’ debut podcast episode focuses on the New Deal arts initiatives, providing an overview of their major features and a wide perspective on their histories and legacies. Drawing from the Archives’ first and most ambitious oral history collecting drive, the words and experiences of the artists and administrators who made the New Deal happen convey the stakes of these enormous national undertakings, while insight from contemporary experts provides context for the ongoing importance of those initiatives. 

  • Get a sneak peek of what’s in store on Season 1 of Articulated: Dispatches from the Archives of American Art. Set to launch on August 26th (the day that President Franklin Delano Roosevelt sent his letter on the allocation of work relief funds in 1935), the first four episodes examine the New Deal Arts programs which shifted the focus of economic recovery towards employment and national improvement, transforming the New Deal into a lifeline for millions and forever reshaping American culture through direct investment in people. Subsequent episodes will feature the voices and stories of artists who participated in queer activist art groups Fierce Pussy and ACT UP in the late 20th century as they made visible the struggles of the LGBTQ community during the peak of the AIDS crisis.

Photograph of an artist's easel side table with paints and other materials
Donating Papers

The Archives of American Art collects primary source materials—original letters, writings, preliminary sketches, scrapbooks, photographs, financial records and the like—that have significant research value for the study of art in America.


Find out how to give your papers, records, recordings, or other primary source material to the Archives of American Art.