New Deal Federal Art Project research collection

Inclusive Dates: 

This record forms part of the Chicago’s Art-Related Archival Materials: A Terra Foundation Resource project funded by the Terra Foundation for American Art. For this project, the Archives surveyed archival repositories throughout the Chicago region to identify art-related materials contained in their holdings. While the Archives of American Art does not own any of the materials described herein, information about those materials and links to the original repositories have been included when available.

Descriptive Summary

1 linear foot (2 boxes) and flatfile materials comprising research materials such as newspaper articles, correspondence, and notes collected by Barbara Bernstein relating to the film "Silver Lining" and pertaining to its subject, large-scale public artworks created in Illinois under the sponsorship of New Deal relief projects including Works Progress Administration Federal Art Project, the PWAP (Public Works of Art Program), the Treasury Section of Painting and Sculpture (later, Treasury Section of Fine Arts), and The Treasury Relief Art Project.

Biographical Historical Note

In the early 1970s researcher Barbara Bernstein began studying New Deal-era, federally-funded artwork throughout Illinois. This research, funded by a grant from the Illinois Arts Council, culminated in the production of a film entitled "Silver Lining" and a related but presumably unpublished typescript. Bernstein's research encompassed only surviving, large-scale works of New Deal art in public places in Illinois, including those found de-installed but in storage. "Silver Lining" was completed and distributed to libraries and educational institutions through Mar/Chuck Film Industries in 1976.