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If you’re looking for a temporary exhibition that draws a crowd and is affordable and easy to install, Exhibit Envoy is your ideal resource! We offer exhibitions that reflect the richness of California’s arts, culture, and natural environment. Browse our list of available exhibitions and view our library of installation images. Then, give us a call to book your next traveling exhibition. For more info on how to rent from us, see our How To Host page.

Hobos to Street People: Artists' Responses to Homelessness from the New Deal to Present



SIZE: 2,000 square feet


The year 2008 marks the 75th anniversary of the New Deal, a time when the United States government responded to the devastating impact of the Great Depression by creating powerful programs to assist  those in poverty. The Hobos to Street People exhibition compares artistic interpretations of homelessness created during this 75-year span–from the Dust Bowl migrants of the 1930s to the stigmatized street people of today–with an emphasis on California.

Over the years, artists have shown different aspects of poverty and homelessness. During the Depression, WPA artists portrayed the lives of the poorest Americans both in “noble”and negative images. The work of artists such as Dorothea Lange often appeared in popular magazines such as Life and Time, profoundly influencing attitudes towards poverty. From World War II through the 1980s, artists tended to portray the homeless as degenerates unworthy of the government’s interest. Contemporary California artists, however, are witnessing, documenting, and commenting on today’s poverty in ways more akin to artists of the Depression era. This exhibition reflects this evolution and examines one of the most fundamental of human needs: shelter.

Hobos to Street People features original works by artists who bring a wide range of cultural viewpoints, historical perspectives, and positions on the topic, including Dorothea Lange, Rockwell Kent, Charles Surendorf, Giacomo Patri, Francisco Dominguez, Jane “in vain”  Winckelman, Sandow Birk, Art Hazelwood, and the San Francisco Print Collective.

The exhibition includes:

  • 42 artworks including photographs, paintings, and prints
  • Text panels and labels
  • Audio Tour
  • Exhibition press kit

TOP: Third Street Corridor, Christine Hanlon. San Diego, Indigenous women and children, David Bacon. Harvest Hands, Paul Weller.  The New Drop Dead Welfare Center, Jane "in vain" Winkelman. Kindred Spirits, Ed Gould. Bread Line, Iver Rose.

To see more images from this exhibit, please visit the Western Regional Advocacy Project online exhibit.


February 19, 2009 – August 16, 2009 California Historical Society, San Francisco
August 30, 2009 – October 25, 2009 University of Merced, Kolligian Library, Merced
December 10, 2009 – February 21, 2010 Bakersfield Museum of Art, Bakersfield
October 24, 2010 – December 19, 2010 Corona Public Library, Corona
January 27, 2011 – March 11, 2011 Center for the Arts, Religion and Education, Graduate Theological Union, Berkeley
March 20, 2011 – April 22, 2011 Old Courthouse Museum, Santa Ana
July 31, 2011 – December 4, 2011 de Saisset Museum, Santa Clara University
January 13, 2012 – April 29, 2012 Riverside Metropolitan Museum, Riverside
June 21, 2012 – August 5, 2012 Loveland Museum, Loveland, Colorado
September 15, 2012 – November 9, 2012 Richmond Art Center, Richmond
Posted in: Past Exhibits