An exhibition on President Franklin D. Roosevelt and the “First New Deal” in New York has opened at the New York State Museum. On display through May 4, “New York and the First New Deal” will feature bronze bust sculptures of Roosevelt and his wife, Eleanor Roosevelt, as well as other images and artifacts from Roosevelt’s economic revitalization efforts in New York.
The bronze busts are by sculptor Caroline Palmer of Montgomery, New York. Palmer originally created a set of Roosevelt busts for the Franklin D. Roosevelt Presidential Library and Museum in Hyde Park, NY. She created another set which is currently on loan to the State Museum.
On October 29, 1929—less than a year after Franklin Roosevelt was elected governor of New York —the stock market crashed and the United States plunged into the Great Depression. Almost overnight New Yorkers found themselves amidst severe economic crisis and mass unemployment. As governor, Roosevelt implemented a series of measures designed to help alleviate the crisis for average citizens.
Funds were poured into projects around the state in an effort to put New Yorkers back to work. New York State would become a proving ground of sorts for Roosevelt’s extraordinary response to the Great Depression, which made him an attractive presidential candidate. He won the 1932 presidential election and served as President from 1933 through 1945.
The State Museum is a program of the New York State Education Department’s Office of Cultural Education. Located on Madison Avenue in Albany, the Museum is open Tuesday through Sunday from 9:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. It is closed on Thanksgiving, Christmas and New Year’s Day. Admission is free. Further information about programs and events can be obtained by calling (518) 474-5877 or visiting the Museum website at www.nysm.nysed.gov.