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Solution to the December 1998 Puzzle

Altered Image

The gender roles in this mural have been reversed, with the man holding the child and the woman reading the newspaper. This type of role reversal would have been extremely unlikely in New Deal public art, as Barbara Melosh points out in Engendering Culture: Manhood and Womanhood in New Deal Art and Theater (Smithsonian Institution Press, 1991). "The strains of economic depression." Melosh writes, "reinforced the containment of feminism that had begun after the winning of suffrage." Unlike our altered mural, While New Deal artists celebrated the working class and "common" people they did so portraying traditional gender roles.

Artist: Seymour Fogel
Security of the Family, Health and Human Sevices Building, Washington D.C.
Photo Credit: Barbara Melosh

Original Image

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