Alexander W. Cowan is a graduate student in Historical Musicology at Harvard University, working on the intersections of race, music, and politics in the 1920s-30s USA; and interested more broadly in questions of music and politics, social and intellectual history, and the historiography of American music, particularly concerning the Blues.
Cover image: ‘Welcome to Montana’, from the WPA’s ‘See America’ program. I have no particular attachment to Montana, but I first encountered these posters during research for my undergraduate dissertation and was immediately taken with the aesthetic.
As I discussed in the realm of music, much WPA art is guilty of a romantic sort of racism. For a critique of this poster campaign, I recommend: