Election Night

Artist Details

Name: Minnie Lois Murphy
Birth: 1901 Death: 1962
Nationality: American

Artwork Details

Date of Work: ca. 1935-37
Medium: woodblock print on paper
Dimensions: image: 8 x 10 1/2 inches support: 11 3/8 x 15 1/2 inches
Credit: Gift of the WPA

During the Great Depression of the 1930s, President Franklin Delano Roosevelt launched his ambitious Works Progress Administration (WPA) programs that sent millions of unemployed Americans back to work, including more than 5,000 artists. Under the auspices of the WPA, the Federal Art Project (FAP) afforded opportunities to a diverse group of artists, including women, African Americans, and immigrants from Russia, China, and other foreign countries. The Gibbes is fortunate to house the only collection of WPA prints in South Carolina. The initial allocation of 114 objects was received in 1943 from the Federal Government. Little else is known about the circumstances of the allocation. At the time Robert N. S. Whitelaw was the director of the Gibbes. He likely became familiar with WPA programs when Charleston’s Dock Street Theater was reconstructed with WPA funds between 1935 and 1937. In 1937, the Gibbes hosted an exhibition of WPA artists’ photographs and in 1938 the Museum’s parent organization, the Carolina Art Association, temporarily assumed custody of the Dock Street Theater.

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