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Federal Art Project


The Work Projects Administration (WPA) was created in 1935 under President Franklin D. Roosevelt’s New Deal, to provide work relief for the unemployed. Under the auspices of the WPA, the Federal Art Project (FAP) was created specifically to aid visual artists by paying wages for their creative endeavors. In 1943, the Museum of the City of New York received a donation from the WPA/FAP of the negatives from twelve agency-sponsored photographic projects, many of which document the social situation of the ordinary people during the Great Depression. They include Arnold Eagle and David Robbins's "One Third of a Nation," documenting poverty in New York; Arnold Eagle's "Sabbath Studies”; Sid Grossman's Harlem project; several projects by Andrew Herman, including work on the garment industry, outdoor markets, Coney Island, the construction of the Sixth Avenue subway, and other New York scenes; a project on food in New York by Sol Libshon; David Robbins's study of the waterfront; and city scene projects by George Herlick and Mark Nadir.
6th Avenue Subway Reconstruction, 42nd Street.

6th Avenue Subway Reconstruction, 42nd Street.


[Be Kind to Animals.]

[Be Kind to Animals.]


Boys On Apartment Stoop, Harlem.

Boys On Apartment Stoop, Harlem.


Under the Boardwalk.

Under the Boardwalk.


133rd Street between 5th and Lenox Avenues.

133rd Street between 5th and Lenox Avenues.


Man Filling Pitcher at Sink

Man Filling Pitcher at Sink


Wreckage-Boy with Boards

Wreckage-Boy with Boards


304 Houston Street

304 Houston Street


Man Selling Peanuts.

Man Selling Peanuts.


Woman Sitting on a Garbage Can

Woman Sitting on a Garbage Can


Man Seated near an Old Stove

Man Seated near an Old Stove


Fulton Fish Market, Cleaning Fish.

Fulton Fish Market, Cleaning Fish.


Person and Garbage Cans

Person and Garbage Cans


Scavenger at Garbage Cans

Scavenger at Garbage Cans


Sheridan Square, Fight to the Finish.

Sheridan Square, Fight to the Finish.


Man Reading near Pot-bellied Stove

Man Reading near Pot-bellied Stove


Finishing the Quilt.

Finishing the Quilt.


Waterfront. [Cart loaded with bales of garbage.]

Waterfront. [Cart loaded with bales of garbage.]


Children Playing in a Vacant Lot

Children Playing in a Vacant Lot


Sabrette Hot Dog Stand.

Sabrette Hot Dog Stand.


Feeding Birds by a Fountain, Bryant Park.

Feeding Birds by a Fountain, Bryant Park.


Waterfront [Man with a coil of rope.]

Waterfront [Man with a coil of rope.]


Cluttered Attic Space

Cluttered Attic Space


Playground -- Supervised Game 2

Playground -- Supervised Game 2


Interior of the First Avenue & 10th Street Market.

Interior of the First Avenue & 10th Street Market.


Waterfront. [Yamato Food Shop under the El.]

Waterfront. [Yamato Food Shop under the El.]


Making Shirts, 10th Ave. & 36th St.

Making Shirts, 10th Ave. & 36th St.


Fixing a Sewing Machine, 10th Ave. & 36th St.

Fixing a Sewing Machine, 10th Ave. & 36th St.


The Perimeter of Central Park.

The Perimeter of Central Park.


Man on Wooden Ladder

Man on Wooden Ladder


Fulton Fish Market: Red Snappers 2.

Fulton Fish Market: Red Snappers 2.


Jitterbug in Harlem.

Jitterbug in Harlem.


Street Scene, 133rd Street between Lenox and Fifth Avenues.

Street Scene, 133rd Street between Lenox and Fifth Avenues.


Littered Vacant Lot

Littered Vacant Lot


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