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Francis Robert White

Francis Robert “Bob” White was born in Oskaloosa, Iowa. In 1937 he succeeded Grant Wood as director of all WPA federal art projects in the state of Iowa. While holding that position, White also became the director of the Sioux City Art Center two months after it opened in February 1938.

While Grant Wood portrayed rural Iowa in a beautiful and whimsical way, White wanted to portray the struggles of blue collar workers in town. His paintings in the permanent collection are vivid examples of the manner in which White thought that Regionalism could be most effective. Rather than painting lighthearted images of rural life, White wanted to use his paintings to demonstrate the ongoing need for support for the working class.

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Francis Robert “Bob” White

American (Artist with ties to Sioux City)

1907-1986

Return from Work, 1937

egg tempera on board

Sioux City Art Center Permanent Collection; 938.07.02

Gift of the artist

Donor

Gift of the Artist

“Bob” White was the first director of the Sioux City Art Center in 1938 when it opened as a WPA project, and the director of the State of Iowa’s Federal Arts Program.