In the 1930s, at the height of the Great Depression, the New Deal created jobs for more than 8 million Americans with the development of the Works Projects Administration (WPA). In an effort to bring work to struggling artists, the WPA also hired illustrators, painters and other creative workers for special government-funded work as part of what it dubbed the Federal Art Project.
The effort was astonishing in scope: Between 1935 and 1943, some 2 million posters in 35,000 different designs were created in an effort to promote education, theater, health, safety — and travel.
To inspire American tourism, artists created posters showcasing cities, museums, monuments, zoos and other wonders of the American landscape. Arguably the most iconic posters of all, though, touted one of America's greatest treasures: its spectacular national park system.