From the Archives: WPA Charles Dickens Figurines
|These figurines are carefully preserved in the BPL Archives. Photo by Jim Baggett.|
Some of these unique finds include seven ceramic figurines, each measuring about five inches tall and representing characters from the novels of Charles Dickens.
You can find these figurines in the Archives:
- Dr. Manette and Madame Defarge from A Tale of Two Cities
- Oliver Twist from Oliver Twist
- Clara Pegotty and Uriah Heep from David Copperfield
- Ebenezer Scrooge, Bob Cratchit, and Tiny Tim from A Christmas Carol
Loveable Tiny Tim, faithful Bob Cratchit, and mean old Scrooge. Photo by Jim Baggett.
The WPA is usually associated with workers who built parks, bridges, and roads.
But the WPA also employed artists, writers, actors, and millions of people who simply needed work to create public art and educational tools, like these Dickens figurines.
|The Alabama Visual Education Project stamp is found on the base of each figurine. Photo by Jim Baggett.|
Women employed by the Visual Education Project produced dolls, models of the human body, models of plants and flowers, paintings of leaves, flags, and animals, all for educational purposes. The items were sold to schools for the cost of the materials or donated to libraries.
And you can see these figures from the Great Depression in the Archives today. Call 205-226-3630 to schedule an appointment to visit the Archives Department!
By Jim Baggett | Department Head, Archives Department