Spring 2014

Art and Art History Event Calendar


Life Model Sessions

Every Tuesday Starting February 4

8:30-10:00 PM, Montgomery Hall

Visiting Artist Talk: Kathleen Hall

February 26th, 4:45 PM, Library 321

Alumni Spotlight: Sarah Sachs 


Sarah received her BA in Studio Art from St. Mary's College of Maryland in 2006. In 2008, she received her Masters of Art in Digital Art from Maryland Institute College of Art, and in 2009 she received her Masters of Fine Art in Photography and Digital Imaging, also from Maryland Institute College of Art. Through her fine art work, Sarah explores the dichotomy between human and digital memory, how the two influence one another, and how they are affected by natural and technological elements of decay. She hopes to create a dialogue about the relationships between personal memory, society’s collective memory, and collective cultural identity. 

Sarah Sachs Photography


Kate Hammond, Art History SMP, 2001                Return to SMP Archive Index 
Mentor: Dr. Rebecca Brown

Reinforcing Ideals: Women Artists and the Solidification of Gendered Responsibility in New Deal Art

Louise Ronnebeck

Abstract: This project examines the art of women of the federal art programs that came about under Roosevelt's New Deal during the great Depression of the 1930s. The art programs, including the Federal Art Project of the Works Progress Administration and the commissions of the Treasury Section of Painting and Sculpture, were instituted mainly for the purpose of bringing art to the American people on an inclusive, widely relevant level, and also for providing relief to artists who were suffering the effects of the Depression. About 41% of artists on the W.P.A. were women, and about 19% of artists employed by the Section were women. Also, many women were employed outside the home, often on other federal work relief projects.

Despite these seemingly high numbers of employed women, the 1930s was generally a time of setbacks for feminism and for the idealization of traditional gender roles, perceived as a source of stability during difficult times. Women who worked for wages often faced great hostility and even lost their jobs, as they were seen as taking jobs that should be held by men and neglecting their duties in the home. There was a general attitude that men should be the breadwinners and women their companionable helpers and caregivers, and this attitude was translated into the "American Scene" subject matter of New Deal art as models for women's and men's proper places. This project demonstrates how the public attitudes concerning women's work both inside and outside the home as well as the defensive stance of feminism during the Depression decade led to constructions of femininity and masculinity in women's art of the New Deal art programs that did not criticize or subvert traditional notions of men's and women's proper places.