Flop House by Albert Abramovitz

Flop House by Albert Abramovitz

Flop House

Albert Abramovitz

Title

Flop House

 
Artist
Year
1932  
Technique
linoleum cut 
Image Size
8 1/2 x 11" image 
Signature
pencil, lower right 
Edition Size
under 25 
Annotations
 
Reference
 
Paper
ivory wove Rolland Parchment Made in Canda paper with partial watermark 
State
published 
Publisher
 
Inventory ID
MIST116 
Price
$750.00 
Description

Albert Abramovitz was born in Russia in 1879 and came to America in 1916. Abramowitz did a number of prints for the New York WPA-PWAP (Public Works of Art Project) many of which depicted the trials and every-day lives of people during the "Great Depression". This image predates the WPA and is not listed as being an "official" WPA publication.

This is a gripping example of Abramovitz's use of social commentary in his imagery, done in 1932, the year that the unemployment rate peaked at 26.3% during the early part of the "Great Depression".

Packed into a cramped composition homeless, out of work men sleep "flopped" on the floor of a cheap lodging house so tightly packed together that some men have to sleep sitting up with their hats on. The services of this flophouse are so minimal that the men were not given the comforts of blankets or mattresses.

The next year, 1933, newly elected President Franklin Delano Roosevelt initiated the first "New Deal" to put Americans back to work, employing 8 million workers over the next several years working on the roads, bridges, airports and infrastructure for the US. In June of 1934 FDR signed into law the National Housing Act and the Federal Housing Administration to improve housing conditions.

 

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