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WPA Federal Art Project, New Hampshire

VC 18

2 boxes

About the Works Project Administration

The Works Project Administration (WPA) was created under President F. D. Roosevelt’s New Deal Program in 1935. Designed to provide relief for the Nation’s unemployed, the WPA provided jobs on public work projects. Between 1935 and 1941 the WPA employed an average of 2.1 million people per year.

Four projects were introduced in 1935 by the WPA as a relief measure for artists. These were the Federal Art Project, Federal Music Project, Federal Theater Project, and Federal Writers’ Project. The Federal Art Project (1935-43), directed by Holgar Cahill, employed photographers as well as other artists.

According to Milton Meltzer, “the photographers on the Federal Art Project served both the WPA itself and other units of government. They photographed everything from construction projects to materials for publicity handouts. They also photographed a great many works produced on the art project, thus preserving a record of them for the Archives of American Art Altogether the WPA produced almost 500,000 photographs and over 15,000 slides” (from VIOLINS AND SHOVELS, page 79).

About the WPA Federal Art Project Collection

The collection consists of 99 different images. Included are works by L.M. Roy (36 photographs), Herman V. Wibel (20), Harold Kimble (11), Werner Kohlenberg (3), and one each by C.T. Bodwell, L.D. Durette, Highton, Robert A. Johnson, Leo Malm, and J. Nakamura. Also included are eleven (11) blockprints by Herbert Waters. Many of these have been matted archivally by the University Art Gallery for use in an exhibit. These items are in the oversize box. The collection is arranged by print size.

Information not in parentheses was written on the back of, or attached to the photographs. Information in parentheses was added by the processor of the collection.

Folder Listing

BOX 1
2.5 x 3.5″
e.1 The Warner House (Portsmouth, N.H.) Began in 1718 by Captain Archibald MacPheadris. The bricks were brought from Holland. He was a member of the King’s Council in 1722. On the end of the Warner house a lightning rod placed by Ben Franklin in 1762.

4 x 5″
e.2 Windsor chair. Owned by Col. (1701-1781) and Mrs. John Goffe (1702-1798). Present owner, Mrs. Gordon Woodbury, Bedford, N.H.

5 x 7″
e.3 Looking up Saco River Valley from Cathedral Ledge, Carter Notch at left, Intervale, White Mountains, N.H. (June 1936). Photo by C.T. Bodwell.
e.4 Figurehead owned by Portsmouth Yacht Club. Photo by Herman V. Wibel.
e.5 Lower section of chest on chest probably made by one of the famous Dunlap family. Photo by Herman V. Wibel.
e.6 Indian stealite bowl owned by Manchester Historic Association. Found by Isaac Webster in Southeastern part of Manchester, N.H. Photo by Herman V. Wibel.
e.7 Same as above.
e.8 Shaker foot-scraper, Shaker Colony, Canterbury. Photo by Herman V. Wibel.
e.9 Maple case clock, built in middle of the 18th century. Owned by Mrs. Gordon Woodbury, Bedford, N.H.

9×12″
e.10 Photo of colorplate already sent to Washington of bead purse. Photo by L.D. Durette.
e.11 Top of Mt. Washington showing cog railroad. Photo by Highton.
e.12 A “Coffin-heart” stone, cut by John Wright of Londonderry in 1766. This example stands in a cemetery about 3 miles outside of Nashua on the road to Litchfield, NH. Photo by Werner Kohlenberg.
e.13 Same as above.
e.14 Pot manufactured by S.Tafft & Company, Keene NH, owned by Isabel Pennell Marshall, Hill Acres, Suncook, N.H. Photo by Werner Kohlenberg.

e.15 Another, different, pot, made and owned as above). Photo by Werner Kohlenberg.
e.16 Robert St. John, carver. Photo by LMA Roy (2 prints).
e.17 Paul St. Gardens, “Master Potter.” Photo by LMA Roy (2 prints w. negatives).
e.18 Boots, bootjack, and boot hooks (Still life). Photo by LMA Roy.
e.19 (Plowing). Photo by LMA Roy.
e.20 (Shaker sister reading letter). Two different shots, each with two prints. Photos by LMA Roy.
e.21 (Shaker sister playing piano). Photo by LMA Roy.
e.22 Swan. Photo by LMA Roy (2 prints, one on canvas).
e.23 Short case clock made by Daniel Pratt. Owned by Miss Mary E.Taylor, Canterbury, N.H. Photo by Herman V. Wibel.
e.24 Banjo clock made by Abel and Levi Hutchins. Owned by Miss Mary H. Pierce, Concord, N.H. Photo by Herman V. Wibel.
e.25 Timothy Chandler clock in the Collections of the Manchester Historic Association. Photo by Herman V. Wibel.
e.26 Doll’s cradle made in 1867. Owned by Miss Ruth Whittier, Concord, N.H. Photo by Herman V. Wibel.
e.27 (Covered bridge). Photo by Herman V. Wibel.
e.28 Family heirloom (chest of drawers) owned by Fred E.Beane, Manchester, N.H. Probably made in Boscawen, N.H. Photo by Herman V. Wibel.
e.29 Birdseye maple bureau made by Samuel Dunlap of Salisbury NH. Now owned by Mrs. Scott Sandborn, Boscawen, N.H. Photo by Herman V. Wibel.
e.30 Desk (escritoire), dated approximately 1820, made by Samuel Dunlap of Salisbury, N.H. Now owned by Mrs. Scott Sandborn, Boscawen, N.H. Photo by Herman V. Wibel.
e.31 Country style Windsor chair, probably made in 1870. Originally owned by Moses Bayley, now the property of Mrs.Frank Foss of Rochester, N.H. Photo by Herman V. Wibel.
e.32 Card table made by Samuel Dunlap, Salisbury, N.H. Now owned by Mrs. Scott Sandborn, Boscawen, N.H. Photo by Herman V. Wibel.
e.33 Hand painted wall in a house in Lyme, N.H. Photo by the courtesy of Mrs. O. Wittenborn. Photo by Herman V. Wibel.
e.34 e.34 Hannah Davis bandbox in the collection of the Manchester Historic Association. Photo by Herman V. Wibel.
e.35 Indian stealite bowl owned by Manchester Historic Association. Found by Isaac Webster in Southeastern part of Manchester, N.H. Photo by Herman V. Wibel (2 prints). Same as e.6 & e.7.
e.36 Early American mirror, made in late 1700s. Owned by Mrs. Kling, Melvin Village, N.H. Photo by Herman V. Wibel.
e.37 “Checkers up at the Farm,” one of the groups of native folk art fashioned by John Rogers. Photo by Herman V. Wibel (2 prints).
e.38 “School Days,” one of the groups of native folk art fashioned by John Rogers. Photo by Herman V. Wibel (2 prints).
e.39 Doorway of Wentworth-Gardner House, Portsmouth, N.H. (2 prints).
e.40 Wentworth-Gardner House, Portsmouth, N.H. (2 prints).
e.41 Richard Jackson House, Portsmouth, N.H.
e.42 Wood carving of Daniel Webster’s birthplace, Franklin, N.H. by Leo Malm.
e.43 (Wooded lot, can barely see a house through the trees on left.) (2 prints).
e.44 “Gathering the sap,” courtesy of Fred E. Beane, Manchester Union, Manchester, N.H. 8/3/39.
e.45 “Boiling the sap,” courtesy of Fred E. Beane, Manchester Union, Manchester, N.H. 8/3/39.

11.5 x 15″
e.46 Carpenter cigar store (Native American in wood), Keene, N.H. Photo by Harold Kimble (2 prints).
e.47 (Unidentified framed portrait), 4/25/47. Photo by Robert A. Johnson.
e.48 Herbert Waters, block printer. Photos by LMA Roy of Ocean-Born-Mary House, Henniker, NH. (4 prints of 2 different shots – 2 11.5 x 15″ silverlight on linen paper, 2 8×10″ archival b&w on Agfa paper and accompanying negatives of latter).
e.49 Leo Malm, woodcarver, of Concord, NH. Photos by LMA Roy. (3 different shots, 5 prints in all, 3 negatives).
e.50 Boys gathering sap in New Hampshire. Photos by LMA Roy. (3 different shots, 7 prints in all).
e.51 Gathering sap in New Hampshire. Photos by LMA Roy (2 prints).
e.52 (Shaker sister cooking). Photo by LMA Roy.
e.53 (Shaker sister ironing). Photo by LMA Roy.
e.54 (Shaker sister knitting). Photo by LMA Roy (3 prints).
e.55 (Shaker sister sewing). Photo by LMA Roy.
e.56 (Shaker sister spinning wool). Photo by LMA Roy (2 different shots).
e.57 (Shaker sister weaving on loom). Photo by LMA Roy.
e.58 “Shoeing oxen.” Photo by LMA Roy (2 different shots, 6 prints in all).
e.59 “Summer.” (Man scything). Photo by LMA Roy (2 prints).
e.60 (Native American in wood). Owner, Mr. Colony, Main Street, Keene, N.H.
e.61 (Native American in wood). Dennis McCreeden Tobacco Co., Manchester, N.H., about 1850.
e.62 (Native American in wood). Carpenter Smoke Shop, Keene, N.H.
e.63 (Statue of general on horseback, apparently in artist’s studio.)
OVERSIZE BOX 1 (All matted)
1-8 (Granite quarrying). Photo by Harold Kimble.
9 (Indian pipes – a plant). Photo by Harold Kimble.
10 Spathodea campanulata (plant). Photo by J. Nakamura.
11 Herbert Waters, block printer. Photos by LMA Roy of Ocean-Born- Mary House, Henniker, NH. (2 different shots) .
12 Leo Malm of Concord, woodcarver. Photo by LMA Roy.
13 (Shaker sister writing letter). Photo by LMA Roy.
14 (Shaker sister reading). Photo by LMA Roy.
15 “Spring” (Shaker sister with goat). Photo by LMA Roy (2 additional prints) .
16 “Wood Road” (Shaker sister walking on country road). Photo by LMA Roy (2 prints) .
17 “Shoeing Oxen.” Photo by LMA Roy.
18 (Sowing – man with bucket). Photo by LMA Roy (2 prints) .
19 (Man scything). Photo by LMA Roy.

Blockprints by Herbert Waters
20 “Portsmouth,” B/W, signed.
21 “Sugar Orchard – March,” Green/ black/ white, signed and dated, ’36.
22 “Winter Night,” B/W, signed and dated, 1936.
23 “Quarry – West Concord, N.H.,” B/W, signed.
24 “Impression: County Fair,” B/W, signed.
25 “Along the Inlet – Long Island, Maine,” B/W, signed and dated, 1938.
26 “Village Center,” colored, initialled.
27 “Covered Bridge and Late Snow,” Green/black/white, signed.
28 “Bridge in Winter,” B/W, signed and dated, 1938.
29 “Old Chicken Yard,” B/W, signed.
30 “Study of a Cactus,” B/W, signed.

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