Avery Johnson, Deep Sea Fishing
       
     
Avery Johnson, East Martello
       
     
Art Gallery Richard Jansen.jpg
       
     
Avery JohnsonFtTaylor.png
       
     
Ginger Plant Stanley Wood.jpg
       
     
Bahama House Avery Johnson.jpg
       
     
Avery Johnson Watercolor Boat.jpg
       
     
BlodgettSailboat10x14.jpg
       
     
BlodgettShipyard20x24.jpg
       
     
Blodgett Commissioner10x14.jpg
       
     
Fishing Boat Avery Johnson.jpg
       
     
Flickering Palms Avery Johnson.jpg
       
     
Stanley Wood Croton.jpg
       
     
001.JPG
       
     
Bahama House circa 1930'a.jpg
       
     
Benson Bond Moore FT Martello.jpg
       
     
bermudarace.jpg
       
     
F. Townsend Morgan
       
     
Art Center.jpg
       
     
WPA Artists in Key West
       
     
Erik Smith
       
     
Erik Smith pic 1.jpg
       
     
Erik Smith pic 2.jpg
       
     
F Townsend Morgan pic.jpg
       
     
Federal Emergency Relief Administration Poster
       
     
Golf Club Avery Johnson.jpg
       
     
Henry La Cagnina
       
     
Launch & Ship.jpg
       
     
Long Key.jpg
       
     
Oldest House.jpg
       
     
Pigeon Key.jpg
       
     
Rest Beach Sand Sellers Diggers.jpg
       
     
Rest Beach.jpg
       
     
Sailboat Indians.jpg
       
     
Rotier.jpg
       
     
SM House Engraving (1).jpg
       
     
Avery Johnson, Southernmost House
       
     
St. Thomas.jpg
       
     
StanleyWoodFtJeff.png
       
     
T Morgan.jpg
       
     
Trading Post.jpg
       
     
Turtle Crawls.jpg
       
     
Typical Lane Edward Bruce.jpg
       
     
USSS Seagull, Paddle wheeler.jpg
       
     
Widow's Walk.jpg
       
     
Avery Johnson, Deep Sea Fishing
       
     
Avery Johnson, Deep Sea Fishing

WPA art in the Florida Keys

In the mid-1800s, Key West was the wealthiest city per capita in the United States.

In 1934, as the entire country was in the depths of the Great Depression, Key West, too, had fallen on hard times. The city had become bankrupt, and by some estimates, as many as 85 percent of its inhabitants were on relief.

Realizing the seriousness of the situation, the city and Monroe County prevailed upon Tallahassee, prompting Governor Sholtz to appoint Julius Stone, Florida's administrator for the Federal Emergency Relief Administration (FERA), to assess the situation.

After a careful study, Mr. Stone determined that the only salvation for the charming but rundown city was rehabilitation and a general beautification program to make it attractive as a tourist resort.

Public Works of Art Project artists from other parts of the country were brought in and put to work creating paintings, murals or public places, and other projects, such as tourist brochures and postcards. An art gallery was established, where artists could sell their work, and art and craft classes were made available to adults and children. A choral society and dramatic organization was organized and a week-long festival was created, culminating in a production of Gilbert and Sullivan's Pirates of Penzance.

As a result of this program and other improvements, Key West attracted an estimated 35,000-40,000 tourists during the winter of 1934-35. As the FERA phased out during the summer of 1935, the Works Progress Administration (WPA) took over many of the ongoing projects, continuing through the early 1940s.

The Labor Day Hurricane of 1935 destroyed the Overseas Railroad, causing major damage to the Upper Keys and a precipitous drop in tourism. Completion of the Overseas Highway in 1938 restored Key West's connection to the mainland and tourism again flourished.

Avery Johnson, East Martello
       
     
Avery Johnson, East Martello
Art Gallery Richard Jansen.jpg
       
     
Avery JohnsonFtTaylor.png
       
     
Ginger Plant Stanley Wood.jpg
       
     
Bahama House Avery Johnson.jpg
       
     
Avery Johnson Watercolor Boat.jpg
       
     
BlodgettSailboat10x14.jpg
       
     
BlodgettShipyard20x24.jpg
       
     
Blodgett Commissioner10x14.jpg
       
     
Fishing Boat Avery Johnson.jpg
       
     
Flickering Palms Avery Johnson.jpg
       
     
Stanley Wood Croton.jpg
       
     
001.JPG
       
     
Bahama House circa 1930'a.jpg
       
     
Benson Bond Moore FT Martello.jpg
       
     
bermudarace.jpg
       
     
F. Townsend Morgan
       
     
F. Townsend Morgan
Art Center.jpg
       
     
WPA Artists in Key West
       
     
WPA Artists in Key West
Erik Smith
       
     
Erik Smith
Erik Smith pic 1.jpg
       
     
Erik Smith pic 2.jpg
       
     
F Townsend Morgan pic.jpg
       
     
Federal Emergency Relief Administration Poster
       
     
Federal Emergency Relief Administration Poster
Golf Club Avery Johnson.jpg
       
     
Henry La Cagnina
       
     
Henry La Cagnina
Launch & Ship.jpg
       
     
Long Key.jpg
       
     
Oldest House.jpg
       
     
Pigeon Key.jpg
       
     
Rest Beach Sand Sellers Diggers.jpg
       
     
Rest Beach.jpg
       
     
Sailboat Indians.jpg
       
     
Rotier.jpg
       
     
SM House Engraving (1).jpg
       
     
Avery Johnson, Southernmost House
       
     
Avery Johnson, Southernmost House
St. Thomas.jpg
       
     
StanleyWoodFtJeff.png
       
     
T Morgan.jpg
       
     
Trading Post.jpg
       
     
Turtle Crawls.jpg
       
     
Typical Lane Edward Bruce.jpg
       
     
USSS Seagull, Paddle wheeler.jpg
       
     
Widow's Walk.jpg