First West Coast Exhibit of Posters for the People: Art of the WPA in LA

Share Article

Opening at MutMuz Gallery on January 31, 2020.

The first west coast exhibit of Posters for the People: Art of the WPA will open in Los Angeles at MutMuz Gallery on Fri, January 31, 2020 and run through Sun, February 9, 2020.

The exhibit, curated by Ennis Carter and produced by John Caulkins will feature original WPA posters made during the 1930s & 40s – most of which are from the Henry Vizcarra collection.

“We are very excited to showcase WPA posters in Los Angeles,” said Carter, the leading expert on WPA posters and founder/author of Posters for the People: Art of the WPA. “It’s a good moment to celebrate a time in our nation’s history when art & design inspired a public consciousness about positive social change. The large local collection of Henry’s combined with other gems from our traveling exhibit will create a show like no other we’ve done before.”

WHEN: The exhibit opens on Friday, January 31, 2020 at 5pm
The exhibit will be open Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays from 1/31/20 – 2/9/20 and by appointment.
Poster reproductions & the book Posters for the People: Art of the WPA will be available for purchase.

WHERE: MutMuz Gallery, 971 Chung King Road, Los Angeles, CA 90012 (Chinatown)

Other Programming:

  • “Print-Your-Own” WPA Poster – Silkscreen Workshops

Saturdays 2/1 & 2/8 at 12 noon – 4pm • Free, Family Friendly, No experience required.

  • The New Deal Film Festival

WPA film footage & New Deal propaganda will be shown throughout exhibit.

After the Great Depression in America (1929 - 1933), newly elected President Franklin Roosevelt initiated his “New Deal” program that put 8.5 million people back to work over an eight-year period (1935 – 1943). Nationwide, 10,000 out-of-work artists and craftspeople were included, with a group of 500 hired to create posters to promote public programs, shared values and everyday American culture. More than 35,000 posters were designed (and 2 million printed) as part of the government- sponsored Works Progress Administration (WPA). There was never a record kept of all of the posters designed. Today, very few originals still exist - scattered across the country or lost.

“The programs of the WPA exposed many Americans to the arts for the first time,” said collector Henry Vizcarra. “The WPA left us a important legacy of art and design right here in California – from the Hollywood Bowl fountain to the murals of the San Pedro post office.”

Posters for the People searches private and public collections to create the most comprehensive record of posters known to exist. Through research they have documented more than 2,000 posters (more than doubling the official number held at the Library of Congress). A growing online archive presents those with visual records; provides a way for people to submit their own findings; and sells books and reproductions to keep the art alive and fund its work. Its curated traveling exhibit of original posters brings to light many that have not been on public display for more than 80 years. For more information visit:

“I first learned about Ennis’s work through Atlas Obscura,” said John Caulkins. “I found that we share a fascination with historic public art/propaganda and the lesser known poster artists who in fact have shaped our national identity. The New Deal era of the 1930’s deserves our attention in this time of crisis in our government. We wanted to offer the LA public a chance to see the origins of this powerful graphic tradition that has had such a lasting impact on artists in California and elsewhere”


MutMuz Gallery is an experimental pop-up contemporary art space that presents accessible and engaging exhibitions and programs.
Located at 971 Chung King Road, Los Angeles, CA, 90012.
For more information visit MutMuz Gallery on Instagram: @mutmuzgallery_

Ennis Carter is the director of DfSI/Social Impact Studios, founder of the Posters for the People project and author of Posters for the People: Art of the WPA. For more information visit:

John Caulkins is an arts producer and early backer of Atlas Obscura.

Henry Vizcarra founded 30sixty advertising+design, an entertainment based firm with clients from all the major movie studios. He headed the firm for 35 years. In the past, Mr. Vizcarra taught logo design at UCLA Extension. He also published the book “Posters of the WPA 1935-1943” and re-issued a silkscreened collection of WPA posters.

Mr. Vizcarra has recently retired, but always promotes WPA art whenever he can.

Images available upon request

Share article on social media or email:

View article via:

Pdf Print

Contact Author

Ennis Carter
since: 10/2009
Follow >
Posters for the People
Like >
Visit website