Working Mothers, Lean On and Lead Working Mothers, Lean On and Lead

The Artwork

In 1935, the Works Progress Administration (WPA) was implemented as part of the New Deal, identifying public works jobs for millions of unemployed people, including projects that provided work for artists.  In fact, one of the first federal efforts to support the arts was a program to produce posters  to publicize exhibits, community activities, theatrical productions, and health and educational programs in seventeen states and the District of Columbia.  


Because they artistically depict so many images related to work, the economy, and the health of families -- and because their purpose was to put artists and others back to work --  the look, feel, and subject matter of these posters correspond extremely well with the themes and sensibility of Lean On and Lead.

Furthermore, fittingly, the most comprehensive program to federally fund childcare took place during World War II, and utilized funding that was transferred from the WPA. According to one federal legislator quoted at the time, "You cannot have a contented mother working in a war factory if she is worrying about her children and you cannot have children running wild in the streets without a bad effect on the coming generations." 




Link to more on the Lanham Act by Abby J. Cohen from The Future of Children