Text-Mining the “Needy Artist”

February 26, 2012 § 1 Comment

The phrase “needy artist” popped up in my research on Mary E. Hutchinson’s early career.  I first noticed it in historic (1932) New York Times articles reporting on new open-air art marts such as the Washington Square Sidewalk Show sponsored by an association of needy artists.  By text-mining the New York Times from 1910-1943 via ProQuest, I found that the “needy artist” spiked dramatically in 1932-1933 and then receded into the background of the New Deal art programs it helped to create.

Mary E. Hutchinson (1934)For Hutchinson, the figure of the “needy artist” opened up new forums such as the Washington Square Sidewalk Show and cooperative galleries run by artists themselves in a destabilized art market before FDR initiated the New Deal.

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§ One Response to Text-Mining the “Needy Artist”

  • rebecca carter says:

    I came across your name while doing a little research about Mary E. Hutchinson. I have a painting of hers that is a portrait of a person I knew for many years who passed away in 2000. I believe it was painted sometime in the 1930s or 1940s. I would love to know more about her work and would be happy to share images of my painting with you.

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