New Deal Art in Arizona
224 pages, 7 x 10
Release Date:30 Mar 2021
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New Deal Art in Arizona

The University of Arizona Press
Arizona’s art history is emblematic of the story of the modern West, and few periods in that history were more significant than the era of the New Deal. From Dorothea Lange and Ansel Adams to painters and muralists including Native American Gerald Nailor, the artists working in Arizona under New Deal programs were a notable group whose art served a distinctly public purpose. Their photography, paintings, and sculptures remain significant exemplars of federal art patronage and offer telling lessons positioned at the intersection of community history and culture.
Art is a powerful instrument of historical record and cultural construction, and many of the issues captured by the Farm Security Administration photographers remain significant issues today: migratory labor, the economic volatility of the mining industry, tourism, and water usage. Art tells important stories, too, including the work of Japanese American photographer Toyo Miyatake in Arizona’s internment camps, murals by Native American artist Gerald Nailor for the Navajo Nation Council Chamber in Window Rock, and African American themes at Fort Huachuca. Illustrated with 100 black-andwhite photographs and covering a wide range of both media and themes, this fascinating and accessible volume reclaims a richly textured story of Arizona history with potent lessons for today.
This thoughtful, provocative work by Fahlman is the first to detail the activities of many federally sponsored talented photographers, painters, and sculptors who produced their art for Arizona' —Choice
“At the heart of this book are the superb illustrations and the careful attention to visual analysis and context that Falhman devotes to them. Clearly organized and well written, it is also highly accessible to a general reader.” —Carol Clark, Amherst College
Betsy Fahlman is a professor of art history at Arizona State University. She is the author of The Cowboy’s Dream: The Mythic Life andArt of Lon Megargee.
List of Figures
1 . The Government as Patron: Federal Support for the Arts in Arizona
2 . Arizona Welcomes You: Entering the New Deal
3 . The Cultural Desert: New Deal Arts Agencies in Arizona
4 . Art in Public Places: New Deal Murals and Sculpture in Arizona
5 . The Government Lens: Documentary Photography in Arizona
6 . The Landscape of Arizona: The Natural and Unnatural Sublime
7 . The Depression Ends: The World War II Years
8 . Conclusion: The Legacy of the New Deal in Arizona
Selected Bibliography
Figure Credits
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