New Deal Gallery

Dublin Core


New Deal Gallery


This collection of more than 200 paintings owes its existence to two primary causes: allocations from the Federal Art Project to a New York state tuberculosis sanatorium located at Mt. Morris--the landscapes and still lifes were thought to be restful--and to the committed volunteers who helped preserve the paintings after the hospital closed. For several decades the canvases were stored in non-climate-controlled basements; it appears that doctors and staff removed at least three dozen works as "keepsakes."

Despite the seeming tranquility of the paintings, they were created by artists primarily from New York City whose background was more political and aesthetically adventurous than this rural location would indicate. Follow this hyperlink to a short introduction to the New Deal Gallery collection. We're grateful to the Genesee Valley Council on the Arts for access to their collection, which has been re-photographed and appears here at two resolutions: a cropped, web-friendly file size of around 1 MB; and a high-resolution file including the painting's frame.

Items in this collection were created according to a consistent format: a short description of each painting in formal terms, followed by a biography of each artist. Where possible we have supplied hyperlinks relevant to their lives and to other examples of their art. In order to better view them using the Omeka program, click on the "View All" option at the bottom of this page to access various sorting options.




Cooper, Ken (project director)

Ritz, Abigail (photography and project assistant)

Additional research: Justin Anderson, Jessica Apthorpe, Jay Bang, Kristopher Bangsil, Julia Caldwell, Sydney Cannioto, Sabrina Chan, Paige Closser, Victoria Domon, Elana Evenden, Yadelin Fernandez, Michael Griffin, Madison Jackson, Niamh McCrohan, Ben Michalak, Ricky Noel, Elizabeth Ramsay, Skye Rose, Samantha Schmeer, John Serbalik, Marianna Sheedy, Emily Spina, Alison Stern, Ravenna VanOstrand, and Nicholas Vanamee.

Special thanks to: Deborah Bump, Mark Calicchia, Elizabeth Harris, Melissa Moody, Rebecca Lomuto, and Mai Sato.

Collection Items

Warehouse, East River
A faceless laborer lifts what appears to be bales of cotton--presumably one of many for New York's textile and garment industries. The etching's dark, cross-hatched interior contrasts with a view of docks, tugboat, and buildings seen through the…

The Blue Beads
A table, whose covering appears to have been folded back, becomes the space for an arrangement of flowers in a vase and a beaded necklace in a ceramic dish. Cool blues, grays, and burgundys predominate.The flat picture plane, absence of background…

May Flowers
A table is the support for a grecian looking vase containing flowers including carnations, daisies, irises, lilies, and babies breath. These colorful flowers stick out against a dull brown background. Some of the flowers are noticeably droopy and the…

A table, whose covering appears to have been warped, becomes the space for an arrangement of anemones in a copper vase suspended by a thin spiraled black steel stand. An ashtray accompanies the flowers on the table, standing in the foreground. Cool…

Central Park
The painting captures NYC’s Central Park on a shadowy afternoon. Cool purples, blues, and greens make up the majority of the image. Trees, bushes, and greenery blend into buildings and cares that make up the city skyline in the background, producing…

Girl with Tulips
A pale-skinned young woman with blue eyes and brown hair, wearing a blue day dress, lifts a single red tulip stem from a vase of five red tulips. Mirroring the dark brown background, a round, wooden table is the stable platform for the two-handled…

Local Stop
A local town is represented as a train stop, hinted at beyond a hill. It appears to be either fall or the middle of a drought, as the colors used are warm—mostly reds, oranges, and yellows—with the corn and surrounding vegetation brown and yellow.…

Close Relations
A table, draped in eggshell cloth and situated in front of a curtain of the same color, holds a vase containing cherry blossoms, a tea cup, a decorated box—perhaps a tea chest?—and a small statue of a frog. Each of the items seems to evoke East Asian…

Winter Night
This painting depicts a snowy mountainside. Tall, dark trees contrast the lighter highlights of the snow around them. In the distance, two mountain peaks are visible against the skyline. The trees progressively grow smaller in the distance, creating…

July Flowers
A clear glass vase holds a bouquet of mostly red flowers, with one yellow flower in the center. These flowers are thought to be zinnias. The goblet-like vase is sitting on a table draped over with a red patterned tablecloth. The background is a…
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