A new deal for public art in the free state

Director: Graham Carroll

A film that explores American Midwestern identity during the Great Depression and World War II era through stories about conflicts over public art. Between 1934 and 1943, the U.S. government commissioned over 1,600 pieces of public art for newly constructed post office buildings across the U.S.A. In the state of Kansas these murals and other artworks were installed in twenty-six post offices, as part of this New Deal arts programme. For eight decades, thousands of people have walked past these public works of art - sometimes in appreciation, sometimes with a nod of familiarity, sometimes without registering their existence. What can these murals tell about rural identity during the 1930s-1940s, and how do they continue to speak to Americans today?

This film is part of a combined programme with: Butterfly, In the dark room and The kaleidoscope guy at the market. These films are all about the arts, bringing you into the world of multiple art disciplines.

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