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.
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.