Of the more than 2,000 Works Progress Administration posters known to exist, the Library of Congress has the largest physical collection. These striking silkscreen, lithograph and woodcut posters were designed to promote values and publicize health services, cultural programs, theatrical and musical performances, travel, educational programs, and community activities throughout the United States. The posters were made possible by one of the first U.S. Government programs to support the arts and were added to the Library’s holdings in the 1940s.
In this course, learn about the WPA and its mission as well as the connections to history, art, social science and visual literacy that can enrich your teaching. Participants learn about this time period after the Great Depression, the power of design to communicate and how to use visual primary sources to engage students. The course includes hands-on DIY printmaking and design studio exercises, virtual site visits and more. Use the digital archives of the Library of Congress to prepare lessons based on these powerful historic images. Content is appropriate to a range of subject areas as connections to social science, history, economics, material processes, and literacy are explored.