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New Mexico State University

New Mexico State University

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NMSU professor emeritus to discuss the politics of art

Joan Jensen, professor emeritus of history at New Mexico State University, will discuss the debate over government-funded art programs and how it relates to the New Deal art programs of the 1930s at 7 p.m., Thursday, Feb. 8, in Kent Hall on the NMSU campus.

Jensen's presentation, "New Deal Art and the Politics of Representation," coincides with the exhibition "WPA Art in the 1930s" on display at the University Museum. The WPA, Works Progress Administration, was one of the New Deal programs created by the administration of Franklin D. Roosevelt.

The New Deal art programs were created to give artists a chance to work during the depression of the 1930s as well as to bring art to people of America, who might otherwise have had no chance to experience it, Jensen said.

"Since the money for these programs was coming from the federal government there was a debate over what kind of art should be produced. Some wanted the art to be a realistic portrayal of the times and others wanted a more abstract form," Jensen said. "Even though the New Deal programs are long gone, we still see this kind of debate with programs like the National Endowment for the Arts."

The presentation is free and open to the public. The WPA exhibit will be on display at the University Museum through Feb. 24.

The museum is located at the corner of University Avenue and Solano Drive. It is open from 12 to 4 p.m. Tuesday through Saturday. For more information call Sharyn Lapointe Hill at (505) 646-3739.

Chris J. Minnick
Jan. 31, 2001