2017 49c Work Pays America
President Franklin Roosevelt’s New Deal and Works Progress Administration (WPA) projects helped America find its way out of the Great Depression. They created millions of new jobs and improved communities with a wide range of public works projects. Among these ambitious programs was Federal Project Number One.
Federal Project Number One was a $27 million program aimed at creating jobs for thousands of artists, musicians, actors and writers. The largest of these projects was the Federal Art Project. Out-of-work artists were paid about $23 a week to create murals, paintings, sculptures, photographs, theater set designs, and other art forms. These artists also created over 100 community art centers to both display and teach their craft. A number of now-famous artists were able to survive the Depression thanks to this program, including Jackson Pollock, Willem de Kooning, Mark Rothko, and Arshile Gorky. In all, the Federal Art Project employed some 10,000 artists and yielded over 200,000 separate works of art.
An integral part of the Federal Art Project was the creation of about two million silk-screened posters. These posters promoted the work being done by the WPA, with topics including education, public health, travel, workplace safety, recreation, national parks, and more. Today, these posters are highly sought-after collectibles, a testament to the creativity and enduring messages the posters carried.
Issued: March 7, 2017
First Day City: Hyde Park, NY
Type of Stamp: First Class Mail
Printed by: Ashton Potter Ltd.
Quantity Printed: 100,000,000