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Traditional Imagery, Radical Dreams | David A. Horowitz Lecture

PSU Smith Center, 1825 SW Broadway
1825 SW Broadway
Portland, OR 97201, US (map)

RM 328/9



Traditional Imagery, Radical Dreams, and Oregon's Great Depression Public Art

WED October 25th 3-4:30pm Smith Memorial Student Union (SMSU) RM 328/9 1825 SW Broadway Portland OR 97201

RSVP: http://bit.ly/DHWPA17

This lecture features 53 photographs of post office murals and other public artworks commissioned by the Oregon Federal Art Project, a subsidiary of the Federal Painting Project of the New Deal’s Works Progress Administration during the 1930s. Its focus centers on the irony that some of the radical artists working for the project were highly critical of capitalism but participated in a federally funded program that sought to use traditional imagery about rural Americans and wholesome families to convince Americans that the social programs of the New Deal coincided with traditional American values. Nevertheless, both artists and the New Deal government shared the belief that the dignity of working Americans was at the center of their efforts. Professor David A. Horowitz will discuss several visual artists affiliated with the Oregon Federal Art Project and address the paradox by which these radical and anti-capitalist muralists and painters participated in a government program designed to rejuvenate a capitalist economy.

David A. Horowitz is the author of America’s Political Class under Fire:The Twentieth Century’s Great Culture War (2003), The People’s Voice: A Populist Cultural History of Modern America (2008), and a memoir titled Getting There: An American Cultural Odyssey (2015). He has published in The Historian, Journal of Southern History, Oregon Historical Quarterly, San Francisco Bay Guardian, The Oregonian, Back to the Bronx, and the online history news network. A native of the West Bronx and Long Island, New York, graduate of Antioch College, and University of Minnesota PhD., he teaches U.S. cultural and political history at Portland State University and lives with his wife, Gloria E. Myers, in Portland and Arch Cape, Oregon.