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Oil on Canvas: Images of the Southwest


Exceptionally rich colors and composition create a unique art deco period piece as well as an artistic document of American history.

Mexican muralists, including Diego Rivera, inspired the American artistic community of the 1920’s and 30’s to revitalize the Italian Renaissance fresco style. With the establishment of the Works Progress Administration (W.P.A.) on May 6, 1935, by President Franklin D. Roosevelt, thousands of unemployed Americans began work on numerous national projects, including art projects throughout the U.S. Surviving examples of art work from the period, often in Post Offices and Court Houses, are a reminder of America’s strong spirit and will to survive in disastrous economic times.

A Mural Competition in 1939 invited entries from all forty-eight states. This southwestern art deco style painting is thought to have been the work of a poster painter of the period, many of whom submitted their paintings to the national competition. Although it is signed and dated “39”, the signature is not entirely legible. A list of winners, as well as other details of the W.P.A. projects, can be found online at www.wpamurals.com, and numerous other web sites .


  • Place of origin
  • Date of manufacture
    Signed and dated 1939
  • Period
  • Condition
    Good, with some wear. .
  • Dimensions

    H 48 in. x W 89 in.

    H 121.92 cm x W 226.06 cm

  • Seller location
    New York, NY
  • Reference number

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