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Index of American Design

March 26 – April 23, 1944
Ground Floor, Central Gallery

Charlotte Angus, Hooked Rug, c. 1940, watercolor and graphite on paper, Index of American Design, 1943.8.257

This exhibition is no longer on view at the National Gallery.

Overview: This was the first exhibition of watercolors and drawings from the Index of American Design, showing metalwork and hooked rugs. The Index of American Design was conceived as a pictorial record of arts and crafts in the United States from early days through the 19th century. It was undertaken during the 1930s by the Works Progress Administration's (WPA) Federal Art Project, as part of its program to provide employment for artists. More than 17,000 watercolor renderings and 500 photographs were transferred by the WPA on June 7, 1943. They came to the National Gallery of Art from the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York, where they had been on loan.