The WPA in New Canaan: ‘Fantasy and Beauty’

The next time you visit South, East or West School, seek them out. They hang high and proud in each of our three public elementary schools. Their vibrant colors and scenes virtually burst from the walls with playful images that spark creativity and imagination for the hundreds of students passing by them every day, perhaps unaware of their rich history—not only in New Canaan, but in the United States as well. And had it not been for a few key New Canaanites, these treasures might have been lost forever. The paintings were originally commissioned by the Works Progress Administration, or WPA, a Depression-era government program developed under President Franklin D. Roosevelt’s New Deal initiative.