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NY State Museum opens exhibition on Franklin Roosevelt's "First New Deal" in New York
Bronze Busts of President Franklin Roosevelt and his wife, Eleanor Roosevelt. Sculptor is Carolyn Palmer of Montgomery, NY.
ALBANY, NY.- An exhibition on President Franklin D. Roosevelt and the “First New Deal” in New York opened at the New York State Museum on Roosevelt’s birthday, January 30. On display through May 4, “New York and the First New Deal” features 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.

“Franklin Roosevelt’s legacy in the White House and New York’s State Capitol is well-remembered today,” said State Museum Director Mark Schaming. “This exhibition tells the story of how Roosevelt helped alleviate the significant economic effects of the Great Depression on New Yorkers in his role as governor, which later helped him secure his seat in the White House.”

The Board of Regents and the State Museum are dedicated to educating New Yorkers and visitors to the State Museum about the State’s history. In addition to Franklin Roosevelt, five other United States Presidents were from New York State, including Martin Van Buren, Millard Fillmore, Chester Arthur, Grover Cleveland and Theodore Roosevelt.

The exhibition features two bronze busts of Franklin and Eleanor Roosevelt by sculptor Carolyn 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 exhibition features artifacts from the State Museum, State Library, and State Archives.

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