The WPA's Index of American Design's (IAD) charge was straightforward. Almost 400 artists located examples of American design from around the country, made renderings of these objects, and amassed a record for future study and artistic inspiration. Their drawings and paintings of American glassware, tobacco shop figures, toys, religious icons, weather vanes, ship figureheads, and furniture suggest the Depression era's need for stability and durability. But Federal Art Project head Holger Cahill, who enthusiastically supported the IAD's work, hoped that manufacturers would see these designs and reproduce them in inexpensive mass-produced versions.

Click to print this page

Click to Close Window