NEW ENGLAND

As a result of the WPA artwork,themes of local history are spread across post office wallsfrom Maine to California. Local history is usually depicted in scenes portraying the first setlers of a town, pioneers arriving there, or the settlers' early means of livelihood. What is interesting in New England is that these themes are explicitly political, that is, murals tend to present individuals and groups winning liberty for all by opposing the establsihed authority(Park and Markovitz, Democratic Vistas).

A specific example of the New England type regionalism cultivated by WPA artwork exists in the mural of Alton Tobey. Tobey depicted, "The Stop of Hooker's Band in East harford Before Crossing the River". Tobey characterizes Hooker as "a far seeing statesman of more democratic tendencies than any other man- a man who was responsible for the Famous Fundamental Order of Connectivut which was the first written constitution adopted by a people that ever organized a government-the most far reaching political work of modern times,"(Park and Markovitz)

This is the achievement that the artist, in a simple and severe (mural) style, commemorated in his scene of local history in New England. Tobey's work, as an example that can represent countless other artists working in the New England area, is distincitive to the region because of the history his work commemorates. It gives New England area residents a sense of pride in their land. This pride becomes contagious, just as the federal government hoped it would and it becomes a part of the lifestyle of the residents of that specific region. This increase in pride translates directly to an increase in national pride as well.Thus, the cultivation of regional diversity in the New England area did not contribute only to the growth of the cultural and heritage awareness of that individual region, but ultimately had an affect on the growing increase of awareness of a national culture as well.

MIDATLANTIC REGIONALISM

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