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Works Progress Administration

Works Progress Administration

The WPA (Works Progress Administration) was responsible for several noteworthy buildings and murals in Fullerton during the 1930s and 40s. These include the Post Office, the Police Station (formerly City Hall) and the Fullerton Museum Center (formerly the library). Fullerton boasts three WPA murals: Charles Kassler’s “Pastoral California” at Plummer Auditorium, “History of California” by Helen Lundeberg at the Police Station, and an untitled piece at the Main Post Office by Paul Julian.

Works Progress Administration (W.P.A.) was created in 1935 to help provide economic relief to Americans who were suffering through the Great Depression. Many artists had already become inspired during the 1920s and '30s by the revitalization of the Italian Renaissance fresco style by the inspired creations of Mexican muralists Diego Rivera, Jose Clemente Orozco, and David Alfaro Siqueriros.

Certain visionary U.S. politicians, especially President Franklin D. Roosevelt, decided to combine the creativity of the new art movements with the values of the American people. The result was over 5,000 jobs for unemployed artists and a public legacy of over 225,000 works of art for the American people.