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About this collection

The exhibit
"New Deal Art: California" was a six-month exhibition presented in 1976, sponsored by the de Saisset Art Gallery and Museum of the University of Santa Clara. This online collection consists of digitized film transparencies used to support the 1976 exhibit.

 

New Deal Art: California came about as the result of a chance remark made, by Dr. Francis V. O'Connor, Art Historical Consultant, on his first trip to the de Saisset Art Gallery and Museum in 1971. The original exploratory research he did revealed a wealth of information about California's contribution to the Works Progress Administration's Federal Art Project and the Treasury Programs. Dr. O'Connor's initial work helped provide the foundation for two years of subsequent research into the historical and aesthetic climate that gave birth to New Deal Art in California.


 The exhibition was of art produced in California between 1933 and 1943 under Federal Government patronage, and was funded with grants from the National Endowment for the Humanities, the California Arts Commission, the International Video Corporation and the Adolph's Foundation. 

 

Two years in the making, the exhibition produced a richly illustrated catalog containing an extensive inventory of New Deal public artworks throughout California. This catalog is available for viewing and downloading from SCU's repository, Scholar Commons

 

 

The slides
This online collection is produced from film positive slides long in storage at the de Saisset. The slides have,
as is often the case with old color transparencies, deteriorated, with the blue and green colors fading, leaving the slides with a magenta/purple color cast.

 

restoring an old slide

 

It was worthwhile to attempt correcting the color of these slides to the extent possible,
since some of these images (and the source artworks on which they are based) are not available elsewhere.

 

restoring an old slide 2

 

The restoration process is complex, involving a number of steps, including a basic color correction
of the transparency to remove the overall red cast, and individual color channel adjustments and luminance balancing;
the goal was to recreate a plausible representation of the original work.

 
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