50 American artists of all stripes to look back at the projects created during the New Deal era and make work that reflects the contemporary United States.

From 1935 to 1943, the United States government funded a massive economic and cultural effort that redefined the way we see America. Called Federal Project Number One, the initiative was administered by the Works Progress Administration (WPA), the ambitious New Deal agency that put millions to work during the Great Depression carrying out public works programs like the construction of highways and bridges, stadiums, and parks.

With the establishment of Federal Project Number One, the government recognized that cultural producers, too, had a critical role to play in the nation’s recovery. Federal One, as it was known, had five divisions: the Federal Art


This Land Is Your Land

During the Depression, the federal government urged Americans to visit the country’s natural wonders.

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The American Guide to the New Vermont

Shane Lavalette follows the refugees who have made their home in the whitest state in the nation.

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Letting Sleeping Children Lie

Leanne Shapton reconsiders motherhood after seeing a photograph of children asleep during a square dance.

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The Afterlives of Slaves

Snapshots of a life after slavery, and an imagining of a world without bondage.

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Portraits of Hard Living in America

The faces and places of a forgotten swath of American life.

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More Federal Project No. 2