Workers discover Great Depression murals

on Monday,November 22,2010 20:11


Lost works can be hidden in unusual places, which is what workers discovered when they recently tore down dry wall at the University of Rhode Island. Behind the walls, six different murals painted by Gino Conti were uncovered. Art historians previously assumed that the works had been lost forever, according to USA Today.

The murals were painted 71 years ago and funded by federal stimulus funds from the Works Progress Administration (WPA). The group paid artists, such as Conti, to create works during the Great Depression. The murals discovered at the University of Rhode Island express earth, wind, fire, youth and progression.

"WPA art is 'a snapshot into history,'" Brian Miller, inspector general of the General Services Administration (GSA), told the news source. "They capture America as it was in the 1930s and '40s. We want to put them up for everybody to see."

Conti died in 1983, but he was just one of the many artists who were commissioned at the time to create encouraging pieces during the economic downturn.

Artist jobs are projected to increase by 12 percent over the next eight years, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics.

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