New Documentary on the Arts of the WPA Features Rochester Murals: Remarkable Photography Process Captures These Historic Depression Era Works
On Sunday, October 18, independent filmmakers Michael Maglaras and Terri Templeton of 217 Filmsreturn to Rochester with the New York premiere of their new film “Enough to Live On: The Arts of the WPA” celebrating the 80th anniversary of the Works Progress Administration.
“Enough to Live On” will screen at 3:00pm at the Memorial Art Gallery of the University of Rochester. This screening is part of the new exhibit Artfor the People: Carl W. Peters and the Rochester WPA Murals.
217 Films collaborated with the Memorial Art Gallery to photograph and digitize two historic Rochester WPA murals painted by Peters. “Life of Action” and “Life of Contemplation” are showcased in this new film, which includes not only the finished works but also some of the sketches Peters created as his ideas were formed for these important works.
Footage from the film featuring these murals and the remarkable photography process used to capture them can be viewed at this link.
“I was determined to use these magnificent examples of the art of the WPA era in this new film, but we encountered a serious challenge,” said Michael Maglaras, the film’s writer and director. “These murals are preserved behind glass, and we thought would be impossible to photograph. We joint-ventured with the Memorial Art Gallery to hire the Rochester photography firm Fotowerks, who painstakingly lit and photographed every inch of these murals for us through the protective glass. The result was quite simply that they achieved the impossible…as you will see on screen.”
In addition to the Peters’ murals, “Enough to Live On” features more than 70 works of art from the Great Depression, including notable works by Rockwell Kent, Dorothea Lange, Stuart Davis, and Reginald Marsh, as well as rare footage of WPA artists at work, this film tells the story of how President Franklin Roosevelt and the New Deal moved art in America out of the rarified atmosphere of the elite and brought it directly to the American people as an inspiration and catalyst for change and recovery in the 1930s.
Director Michael Maglaras will introduce the film.
WHEN: Sunday, October 18 at 3:00 pm
500 University Ave., Rochester, New York
COST: Included with museum admission
The next stops for this film are South Bend, Indiana and Richmond, Virginia. Screening dates are being added frequently and the tour will continue through 2016. The full schedule can be viewed at this link.