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Lot 184: (DESIGN.) Milwaukee WPA Handicraft Project. Applied Design: Block Printed Textiles.
December 1, 2016
New York, NY, USALive Auction
Description: (DESIGN.) Milwaukee WPA Handicraft Project. Applied Design: Block Printed Textiles. 6 volumes. 73 vibrantly colored woodcut prints on linen, taped on heavy card stock with paper frame overlays, includes multiples. First three volumes, 457x355 mm, 18x14 inches; last three volumes, 635x495 mm, 25x19.5 inches. Large folios, original olive green cloth and board portfolio with flaps and cloth ties, paper title labels pasted to front covers, some scuffing and fading to spine; age toning varies to overlays, textile prints in very good condition. Ex-collection Kansas City Public Library, with pencil notations and their stamps on passepartouts. Milwaukee, WPA Handicraft Project, Nov. 1937-Sept. 1938
Notes: An exemplary piece by the Milwaukee Handicraft Project, overseen by supervisor Elsa Ulbricht, and part of the nationwide Works Progress Administration program, which focused on employing and teaching unskilled women during the Depression by creating products for educational institutions. Sponsored in part by the University of Wisconsin-Madison, whose predecessor''s stamp can be found on the verso of each card stock. No colophons were issued with the portfolios and the plate count in those in institutional collections differs from set to set; as such, it is assumed that each was a unique assemblage of plates.