20 AMAZING Vintage Sports and Family Activity Posters from the WPA (Photos)

A soap box derby, a doll and buggy parade, and sand modeling are just a few of the family activities that were promoted by the Works Progress Administration (WPA) back in the 1930s and 1940s. The WPA was part of Roosevelt’s New Deal program that, along with building bridges, schools, parks, and paving roads, employed a slew of artists to create unique, gorgeous, and totally stunning posters to promote local events, health, and — in this series — sports and family activities.

Check out these beautiful examples of WPA posters that are totally timeless, right here:

  • September 1 of 19

    A perfect poster for right now! September: "back to work, back to school, back to book." So true then and now.

  • Sports 2 of 19

    This poster promoting athletics really makes you want to grab a ball and get playing.

  • Story Time 3 of 19

    A poster promoting story time, something that has always been important for families.


  • The Job 4 of 19

    A poster promoting the "job of being a parent" using a very well-dressed family!

  • Pet Show 5 of 19

    An amazing poster for local pet shows! This is so classic and stylish that it would be perfect for today.

  • Sand Modeling 6 of 19

    Sand modeling ... yes, that was once a "thing." Now it's more just building sand castles. But one thing's for sure — children have always loved playing in sand!

  • Art by Children 7 of 19

    This poster celebrates the style of children's art, but was executed perfectly by a WPA artist.

  • Athletics 8 of 19

    This beautiful poster promoting athletics is simple, yet it makes a striking statement.

  • Amateur Contest 9 of 19

    A place for families to show off their talents in style.

  • Swim for Health 10 of 19

    I love that they added that you can swim in "safe and pure pools."

  • Learn to Swim 11 of 19

    And if you don't know how to swim, you can learn!

  • Doll & Buggy Parade 12 of 19

    Who doesn't love a parade? And a doll and buggy parade is even more lovable!

  • The Zoo! 13 of 19

    Every family loves a visit to their local zoo. This poster promotes a book made by the WPA to give kids more insight into the creatures they'll see.

  • Art Clases for Children 14 of 19

    A stunning poster promoting art classes for children — a great place to learn how to create posters like this!

  • Exhibition of Art 15 of 19

    This one has a Picasso-like style, and the backwards "R" really sells it.


  • Penguins 16 of 19

    Not sure if this one is promoting math or penguins, but it's super cool either way.

  • Doll and Buggy Parade (again!) 17 of 19

    Another example of a poster promoting a doll and buggy parade. We want to see not just this poster today, but the parade itself!

  • Another Pet Show 18 of 19

    Another stunning example of a pet show poster.

  • Soap Box Derby 19 of 19

    Now this one is super cool. And really, who doesn't love a soap box derby?

Photo Source: Library of Congress, Prints & Photographs Division, WPA Poster Collection

Article Posted 3 years Ago

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