Last updated on: 7/10/2013 | Author:

1940s – Federally Subsidized Milk Advertising under the Works Progress Administration

The Works Progress Administration (WPA) was formed on May 6, 1935, as a part of President Franklin D. Roosevelt’s New Deal plan to bring the United States out of the Great Depression. The WPA differed from other New Deal programs in that it focused on providing work for artists, educators, writers and musicians.

The two posters pictured here were painted by artists under commission from the WPA. Like many WPA projects, these paintings served a dual purpose: to employ artists and to create increased demand for milk. As such, these paintings (and many others like them) were a form of federally subsidized dairy advertising.

At its height, the WPA employed over 3 million people.