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Arthur Durston

Born:
Farnsborough, England 1889

Died:
Los Angeles, California 1938

Luce Artist Biography

Arthur Durston studied in England, France, and San Francisco before settling in Los Angeles. During the 1930s he created somber images of men and women in stark landscapes while employed by the Public Works of Art Project and the Works Progress Administration, which paid him a tiny weekly wage. These New Deal government programs, created during the Great Depression, were intended to offer support to artists, who were proud to be considered a productive part of the American workforce. Durston's paintings evoked the grim reality of the time, and in 1933 one of his canvases was even criticized for being "too depressing from the standpoint of art." (Los Angeles Times, May 26, 1933, A1)