This week on Campus Voices, Ashley Rye-Kopec and Karli Wurzelbacher gave us a tour of one of University Museum’s spring 2017 exhibitions: American Graphic, located in the Old College gallery. As the curator of the exhibition, Karli took the lead in discussing some of the artwork included in the exhibition, specifically those seen as artistic responses to several of the social, economical, and political issues of the Great Depression.
Franklin Roosevelt’s New Deal provided financial aid to artists of all disciplines because artists, like workers in other trades, were hit hard by the Great Depression and needed the work financed by government agencies. This funding led to a rise in art production and an unusual relationship between the artists, their subjects, and the government. Artists used their abilities to convey the social experience of everyday Americans; photographs, prints, and lithographs like those in this exhibition were published in the popular press and shown to lawmakers as a way to “introduce America to Americans.”
Ashley Rye-Kopec and Karli Wurzelbacher, recorded on Feb. 24, 2017. First aired March 2, 2017.
Bonus clip: Hear Karli Wurzelbacher talk about photographs by Delawarean Willard Stuart and funding models for support of the arts.
About our guests
Ashley Rye-Kopec is a Ph.D candidate from the UD Department of Art History. She received her B.A. and M.A. in Art History from Emory University and the University of Delaware, respectively. Ashley currently works as the curator of education and outreach for University Museums.
Karli Wurzelbacher is also doctoral candidate from the UD Art History department. She received her B.A. in Art History and Middle Eastern Studies from Ohio State University before earning her M.A. in Twentieth-Century Art from Hunter College in New York City. In addition to curating the American Graphic exhibition, Karli is also a fellow at the Baltimore Museum of Art.
- Old College Gallery exhibition: American Graphic
- Department of Art History’s news article about the American Graphic exhibition
- University Museums website
- All the photographs, prints, and lithographs in this exhibition are from University Museums’s collection or the University Library’s Special Collections. All the pieces were created in the 1920s, 1930s, or early 1940s.
Richard Gordon: Producer, co-host, recording engineer, photographer
Julia Giambastiani: Co-host, audio editor
Rachel Silva: Web page author, editor