COLUMBUS, Miss. – “Americans at Work: WPA Prints from the Permanent Collection” will be on view from through Wednesday, Dec. 13 in the Mississippi University for Women Galleries.
The exhibition was student-curated as part of the requirements for this semester’s Museum Studies course. This will be the first time that any of these prints have been displayed at The W. To celebrate completion of this project, the class will host a public presentation followed by a reception on Wednesday, Dec. 6 from 3:30-5 p.m.
The exhibition consists of 10 works from the university’s collection of approximately 115 Works Progress Administration / Federal Art Project prints. The WPA/FAP were New Deal programs created to put thousands of Americans back to work during the Great Depression. The federal government distributed the prints created under its auspices to public institutions, starting in the 1940s. The W received its allocation of prints sometime between 1943 and 1948.
The students are also producing an expanded online version of the exhibition, which will be installed permanently on the Mississippi University for Women Galleries’ web page. Teacher’s Guides, geared to high school art and history teachers, will be available on the site as well. The online exhibition will be unveiled at a future date.
The goal of the museum studies course is to introduce students to skills needed in various museum fields. “Using the MUW Galleries and the university permanent art collection has given the students real hands-on experience in how museums function,” said Dr. Beverly Joyce, the course teacher. In order to produce the exhibition, the students conducted research on the artists represented, the subject matter depicted, and the WPA print collection itself. Additionally, the students learned how to mat, frame and hang artwork for an exhibition. According to Joyce, The W is the only university in the IHL system to offer such a course.
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Nov. 29, 2017