When Modernism Was Still Radical: The Design Laboratory and the Cultural Politics of Depression-Era America
Vol. 50, No. 3/4: Fall/Winter 2009
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How to Cite

Clark, S. (1). When Modernism Was Still Radical: The Design Laboratory and the Cultural Politics of Depression-Era America. American Studies, 50(3/4), 35-62. Retrieved from https://journals.ku.edu/amerstud/article/view/4176

Abstract

"This article examines the history of the Design Laboratory, which was founded in 1935 by the Federal Art Project as the first comprehensive school of modernist design in the United States. The Laboratory embodied the vital connections that existed between modernist design and radical political and social activism in the United States during the 1930s, providing a vibrant point of contact between the business culture of America’s industrial design entrepreneurs, the artistic experimentation of the Depression-Era avant-garde, an unprecedented public art bureaucracy, and militant labor unionism and consumer activism. Following cuts in government funding in 1937, the school continued operation as a cooperative sponsored by a radical white-collar union before financial difficulties forced it to close in 1940."
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