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"WPA -- Art of the Great Depression" exhibit opens at Kettering University Nov. 12

FLINT, Mich., Nov 12, 2010 (BUSINESS WIRE) -- It isn't quite "National Treasure," but Kettering University in Flint, Mich., has discovered it owns treasure trove of WPA-sponsored artworks. "WPA -- Art of the Great Depression" opens Nov. 12 and will remain on exhibit through March 2011 in the Humanities Art Center on the fourth floor of Kettering University's Academic Building.

As part of the opening, Dr. David W. Stowe will present "Bringing the New Deal Home: The Cultural Work of the WPA," at 12:20 p.m. Nov. 12 in the Art Center.

Stowe is a professor of Writing, Rhetoric and American Cultures at Michigan State University.

Using specific works from the exhibit, Stowe will talk about how the Roosevelt administration's New Deal made a major investment in identifying and preserving America's cultural legacy with consequences that still resonate in the 21st Century.

Mary Ellen Zang, Kettering's Art Center curator, was in the process of cataloging and preserving the collection of donated works, including two- and three-dimensional art, when she "started noticing that a lot of art in the collection was sponsored by the WPA," she said. "I knew something about the WPA because my great aunt had been an art teacher and had told me about the WPA-supported arts programs during the Depression. Also, my family had some artwork from the Milwaukee Handicraft Project, which was part of the WPA," she added.

The Works Progress Administration (WPA) was the largest New Deal agency created by President Franklin D. Roosevelt. It employed millions to carry out public works projects, including the construction of public buildings and roads, and operated large arts, drama, media and literacy projects.

Kettering University's art collection is due in part to donations by Victor and Doris Zink, who made the largest donation of artwork to the collection. Zink went into art collecting and selling after he retired, according to Dr. Karen Wikinson, department chair for Liberal Studies at Kettering. The art collection is under the auspices of the Liberal Studies Department.

For more on the WPA art exhibit, including photos, visit: http://www.kettering.edu/visitors/storydetail.jsp?storynum=3056. For more on Kettering, visit: www.kettering.edu.

SOURCE: Kettering University CONTACT: Kettering University Dawn Hibbard 810.762.9865 dhibbard@kettering.edu Copyright Business Wire 2010 -0- KEYWORD: United States

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Michigan INDUSTRY KEYWORD: Education

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