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POSTERity: WPA's Art Legacy & America’s Public Lands

The U.S. Department of the Interior (DOI) Museum has a new exhibit, “POSTERity: WPA's Art Legacy & America’s Public Lands”.  The exhibit features nearly 50 silk screened prints associated with 36 national parks, the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge and the Interior Museum.  The DOI has also posted a YouTube video about the exhibit.  From 1938 to 1941, the National Park Service employed artists via the Works Progress Administration (WPA) who produced 14 promotional posters for national park sites.  The Bandelier National Monument poster was the last of the original 14 WPA posters and is featured in the YouTube video. With the onset of World War II, production ceased and the posters were lost to history until the early 1970s when a seasonal park ranger, Doug Leen, happened upon an original.  Just over 40 of these rare national park posters have since resurfaced and are in National Park Service archives, the Library of Congress and with private collectors.  New posters are now being created in the original style, such as the recent posters for Chaco Culture National Historic Park.

U.S. Department of the Interior

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