Wisconsin Federal Art Project Records, 1931-1954

Scope and Content Note

The Federal Art Project records for Wisconsin include correspondence, biographical sketches of Wisconsin artists, clippings, records of works produced by the Project, and materials relating to the Index of American Design.

The Correspondence, 1935-1945, is primarily routine business correspondence of Partridge and Clark with Washington officials, Wisconsin artists, and project staff members.

The collection includes biographical clippings and two separate alphabetically-arranged series of Biographical Sketches. The first is labelled “W.P.A. Biographical Sketches of Wisconsin Artists.” These are brief, typed resumes of the careers of artists prepared by the staff of the Project from information supplied by the artists. An alphabetical listing of these biographical sketches is located at the end of this register. The address file, used by the staff in compiling this series, has been retained in the collection, since it indicates which artists did not complete the biographical forms and therefore are not represented. The series entitled “W.P.A. Biographies of Participating Artists” is a record of all those Wisconsin artists who worked for the project prior to 1939.

Included in the collection is a record card for each art work produced by the Wisconsin Federal Art Project. They are arranged alphabetically by the name of the producing artist, and indicate to which institution each work was loaned.

The Index of American Design is represented with an index of photographic negatives of drawings made for the index, plate lists of the drawings, records of the artifacts borrowed for copying, and lists and data sheets for the artifacts copied. Visual Materials includes photographs of artworks done for the project:

PH 1363 includes a selection of photographs of watercolor drawings from the project, including religious sculptures and wood carvings, created in Wisconsin.

PH 4201 includes an annotated album recording the murals, sculptures, paintings, graphics and handicrafts created by federally supported local artists, for placement in public places for statewide distribution, including artists at work and at work on the Index of American Design and exhibitions, interior and exterior views of the Art Project headquarters.