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Case Summary

United States v. Stromholt

United States v. Stromholt, No. 01-cv-00211 (D. Me. Jan. 11, 2002).

This case is an example of a relatively new type of art ownership claim, wherein the United States Government itself is asserting ownership of artwork created under the Works Progress Administration and other federally-funded New Deal programs of the 1930’s and 1940’s.

During the “New Deal Era” of the 1930’s and 1940’s, the U.S. government, as part of its effort to revitalize the economy in the Great Depression and create jobs, established a number of programs that commissioned unemployed artists to create works of art. The best known was the Federal Art Project of the Works Progress Administration (WPA). A separate program, known as the “Treasury Relief Art Project,” was run by the Treasury Department from 1935 to 1938, when. . .

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