War Service Windows

After the crash of 1929, President Franklin D. Roosevelt implemented a series of programs to deal with the Great Depression and rebuild the United States’ economy. In an effort to provide income to the millions of unemployed citizens, the government established the Works Progress Administration (WPA) in 1935. Additionally, the Federal Art Project was founded that same year and sponsored by the WPA, to support artists and finance projects that upheld the American spirit and its values of work, community, and optimism.

Krasner worked on a number of these projects throughout the 1930s and in 1942 she was approached for overseeing the design and execution of twenty department-store window displays in Manhattan and Brooklyn, advertising war training courses. She decided to photograph the courses and integrate the resulting images into her designs, alongside dynamic typography and abstract markings that suggest her own artistic interests. These works no longer exist; but the documentary photographs taken of Krasner's original collage designs are projected here on the scale of window displays.