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Special Home > Guide to the WPA Federal Art Project Images, 1935-1943

Guide to the WPA Federal Art Project Images, 1935-1943

Collection number: VC 18

Size: 2 boxes (0.66 cu.ft.)

About 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 Images

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 blockprints by Herbert Waters. Many of these were matted archivally by the University Art Gallery for use in an exhibit. These items are in the oversize box. 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.

Administrative Information

Access Restrictions

This collection is open.

Copyright Notice

Contents of this collection are governed by U.S. copyright law. For questions about publication or reproduction rights, contact Special Collections staff.

Preferred Citation

[Identification of item], WPA Federal Art Project Images, 1935-1943, VC 18, Milne Special Collections and Archives, University of New Hampshire Library, Durham, NH, USA.

Acquisitions Information

Accession #: 026, date unknown

Collection Arrangement

The collection is arranged by print size.

Collection Contents

Series I: 2.5 x 3.5″

Box 1
Box 1, Envelope 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, undated

Series II: 4 x 5″

Box 1, Envelope 2 Windsor chair. Owned by Col. (1701-1781) and Mrs. John Goffe (1702-1798). Present owner, Mrs. Gordon Woodbury, Bedford, N.H., undated

Series III: 5 x 7″

Box 1, Envelope 3 Looking up Saco River Valley from Cathedral Ledge, Carter Notch at left, Intervale, White Mountains, N.H. Photo by C.T. Bodwell, June 1936
Box 1, Envelope 4 Figurehead owned by Portsmouth Yacht Club. Photo by Herman V. Wibel, undated
Box 1, Envelope 5 Lower section of chest on chest probably made by one of the famous Dunlap family. Photo by Herman V. Wibel, undated
Box 1, Envelope 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, undated
Box 1, Envelope 7 Same as above, undated
Box 1, Envelope 8 Shaker foot-scraper, Shaker Colony, Canterbury. Photo by Herman V. Wibel, undated
Box 1, Envelope 9 Maple case clock, built in middle of the 18th century. Owned by Mrs. Gordon Woodbury, Bedford, N.H., undated

Series IV: 9×12″

Box 1, Envelope 10 Photo of colorplate already sent to Washington of bead purse. Photo by L.D. Durette, undated
Box 1, Envelope 11 Top of Mt. Washington showing cog railroad. Photo by Highton, undated
Box 1, Envelope 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, undated
Box 1, Envelope 13 Same as above, undated
Box 1, Envelope 14 Pot manufactured by S.Tafft and Company, Keene NH, owned by Isabel Pennell Marshall, Hill Acres, Suncook, N.H. Photo by Werner Kohlenberg, Undated
Box 1, Envelope 15 Another, different, pot, made and owned as above). Photo by Werner Kohlenberg, undated
Box 1, Envelope 16 Robert St. John, carver. Photo by LMA Roy, undated (2 prints)
Box 1, Envelope 17 Paul St. Gardens, “Master Potter.” Photo by LMA Roy, undated (2 prints with negatives)
Box 1, Envelope 18 Boots, bootjack, and boot hooks (Still life). Photo by LMA Roy, undated
Box 1, Envelope 19 (Plowing). Photo by LMA Roy, undated
Box 1, Envelope 20 (Shaker sister reading letter). Two different shots, each with two prints. Photos by LMA Roy, undated
Box 1, Envelope 21 (Shaker sister playing piano). Photo by LMA Roy, undated
Box 1, Envelope 22 Swan. Photo by LMA Roy, undated (2 prints, one on canvas)
Box 1, Envelope 23 Short case clock made by Daniel Pratt. Owned by Miss Mary E.Taylor, Canterbury, N.H. Photo by Herman V. Wibel,undated
Box 1, Envelope 24 Banjo clock made by Abel and Levi Hutchins. Owned by Miss Mary H. Pierce, Concord, N.H. Photo by Herman V. Wibel, undated
Box 1, Envelope 25 Timothy Chandler clock in the Collections of the Manchester Historic Association. Photo by Herman V. Wibel, undated
Box 1, Envelope 26 Doll’s cradle made in 1867. Owned by Miss Ruth Whittier, Concord, N.H. Photo by Herman V. Wibel, undated
Box 1, Envelope 27 (Covered bridge). Photo by Herman V. Wibel, undated
Box 1, Envelope 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, undated
Box 1, Envelope 29 Birdseye maple bureau made by Samule Dunlap of Salisbury NH. Now owned by Mrs. Scott Sandborn, Boscawen, N.H. Photo by Herman V. Wibel, undated
Box 1, Envelope 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, undated
Box 1, Envelope 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, undated
Box 1, Envelope 32 Card table made by Samuel Dunlap, Salisbury, N.H. Now owned by Mrs. Scott Sandborn, Boscawen, N.H. Photo by Herman V. Wibel, undated
Box 1, Envelope 33 Hand painted wall in a house in Lyme, N.H. Photo by the courtesy of Mrs. O. Wittenborn. Photo by Herman V. Wibel, undated
Box 1, Envelope 34 Hannah Davis bandbox in the collection of the Manchester Historic Association. Photo by Herman V. Wibel, undated
Box 1, Envelope 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. Same as e.6 and e.7, undated (2 prints)
Box 1, Envelope 36 Early American mirror, made in late 1700s. Owned by Mrs. Kling, Melvin Village, N.H. Photo by Herman V. Wibel, undated
Box 1, Envelope 37 “Checkers up at the Farm,” one of the groups of native folk art fashioned by John Rogers. Photo by Herman V. Wibel, undated (2 prints)
Box 1, Envelope 38 “School Days,” one of the groups of native folk art fashioned by John Rogers. Photo by Herman V. Wibel, undated (2 prints)
Box 1, Envelope 39 Doorway of Wentworth-Gardner House, Portsmouth, N.H., undated (2 prints)
Box 1, Envelope 40 Wentworth-Gardner House, Portsmouth, N.H., undated (2 prints)
Box 1, Envelope 41 Richard Jackson House, Portsmouth, N.H., undated
Box 1, Envelope 42 Wood carving of Daniel Webster’s birthplace, Franklin, N.H. by Leo Malm, undated
Box 1, Envelope 43 Wooded lot, can barely see a house through the trees on left, undated (2 prints)
Box 1, Envelope 44 “Gathering the sap,” courtesy of Fred E. Beane, Manchester Union, Manchester, N.H., August 3, 1939
Box 1, Envelope 45 “Boiling the sap,” courtesy of Fred E. Beane, Manchester Union, Manchester, N.H., August 3, 1939

Series V: 11.5 x 15″

Box 1, Envelope 46 Carpenter cigar store (Native American in wood), Keene, N.H. Photo by Harold Kimble, undated (2 prints)
Box 1, Envelope 47 (Unidentified framed portrait), Photo by Robert A. Johnson, April 25, 1947
Box 1, Envelope 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 and w on Agfa paper and accompanying negatives of latter), undated
Box 1, Envelope 49 Leo Malm, woodcarver, of Concord, NH. Photos by LMA Roy. (3 different shots, 5 prints in all, 3 negatives), undated
Box 1, Envelope 50 Boys gathering sap in New Hampshire. Photos by LMA Roy. (3 different shots, 7 prints in all), undated
Box 1, Envelope 51 Gathering sap in New Hampshire. Photos by LMA Roy, undated (2 prints)
Box 1, Envelope 52 (Shaker sister cooking). Photo by LMA Roy, undated
Box 1, Envelope 53 (Shaker sister ironing). Photo by LMA Roy, undated
Box 1, Envelope 54 (Shaker sister knitting). Photo by LMA Roy, undated (3 prints)
Box 1, Envelope 55 (Shaker sister sewing). Photo by LMA Roy, undated
Box 1, Envelope 56 (Shaker sister spinning wool). Photo by LMA Roy (2 different shots), undated
Box 1, Envelope 57 (Shaker sister weaving on loom). Photo by LMA Roy, undated
Box 1, Envelope 58 “Shoeing oxen.” Photo by LMA Roy (2 different shots, undated (6 prints)
Box 1, Envelope 59 “Summer.” (Man scything). Photo by LMA Roy, undated (2 prints)
Box 1, Envelope 60 (Native American in wood). Owner, Mr. Colony, Main Street, Keene, N.H., undated
Box 1, Envelope 61 (Native American in wood). Dennis McCreeden Tobacco Co., Manchester, N.H., ca.1850
Box 1, Envelope 62 (Native American in wood). Carpenter Smoke Shop, Keene, N.H., undated
Box 1, Envelope 63 (Statue of general on horseback, apparently in artist’s studio), undated

Series VI: Oversize Box

Subseries 1: Oversize Photos

Oversize Box 1
Oversize Box 1, #1 (Granite quarrying). Photo by Harold Kimble, undated
Oversize Box 1, #2 (Granite quarrying). Photo by Harold Kimble, undated
Oversize Box 1, #3 (Granite quarrying). Photo by Harold Kimble, undated
Oversize Box 1, #4 (Granite quarrying). Photo by Harold Kimble, undated
Oversize Box 1, #5 (Granite quarrying). Photo by Harold Kimble, undated
Oversize Box 1, #6 (Granite quarrying). Photo by Harold Kimble, undated
Oversize Box 1, #7 (Granite quarrying). Photo by Harold Kimble, undated
Oversize Box 1, #8 (Granite quarrying). Photo by Harold Kimble, undated
Oversize Box 1, #9 (Indian pipes – a plant). Photo by Harold Kimble, undated
Oversize Box 1, #10 Spathodea campanulata (plant). Photo by J. Nakamura, undated
Oversize Box 1, #11 Herbert Waters, block printer. Photos by LMA Roy of Ocean-Born- Mary House, Henniker, NH. (2 different shots), undated
Oversize Box 1, #12 Leo Malm of Concord, woodcarver. Photo by LMA Roy, undated
Oversize Box 1, #13 (Shaker sister writing letter). Photo by LMA Roy, undated
Oversize Box 1, #14 (Shaker sister reading). Photo by LMA Roy, undated
Oversize Box 1, #15 “Spring” (Shaker sister with goat). Photo by LMA Roy, undated (2 additional prints)
Oversize Box 1, #16 “Wood Road” (Shaker sister walking on country road). Photo by LMA Roy, undated (2 prints)
Oversize Box 1, #17 “Shoeing Oxen.” Photo by LMA Roy, undated
Oversize Box 1, #18 (Sowing – man with bucket). Photo by LMA Roy, undated (2 prints)
Oversize Box 1, #19 (Man scything). Photo by LMA Roy, undated

Subseries 2: Blockprints by Herbert Waters

Oversize Box 1, #20 “Portsmouth,” b/w, signed, undated
Oversize Box 1, #21 “Sugar Orchard – March,” Green/ black/ white, signed, 1936
Oversize Box 1, #22 “Winter Night,” b/w, signed, 1936
Oversize Box 1, #23 “Quarry – West Concord, N.H.,” b/w, signed, undated
Oversize Box 1, #24 “Impression: County Fair,” b/w, signed, undated
Oversize Box 1, #25 “Along the Inlet – Long Island, Maine,” b/w, signed, 1938
Oversize Box 1, #26 “Village Center,” colored, initialled, undated
Oversize Box 1, #27 “Covered Bridge and Late Snow,” Green/black/white, signed, undated
Oversize Box 1, #28 “Bridge in Winter,” b/w, signed, 1938
Oversize Box 1, #29 “Old Chicken Yard,” b/w, signed, undated
Oversize Box 1, #30 “Study of a Cactus,” b/w, signed, undated

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