Remembering the Civilian Conservation Corps (CCC) by discovering the art and artists who depicted it.

 “CCC ART – Artists of the Civilian Conservation Corps – Marshall Davis” my latest book on a quiet part of American art history, the CCC art program, is now available. More information can be found here. It has been an exciting and labor intensive journey of discovery, on so many levels.


Available direct from the author Kathleen Duxbury at
  Order Here or on Amazon

NEWS May 2015 - Available at the FDR Presidential Library bookstore, Hyde Park, New York.
A visit to the Home of Franklin Delano Roosevelt, a National Historic Site, is highly recommended. So much to do and see.
Pick up your copy of “CCC ART – Marshall Davis” at the New Deal Store.


 “I have a pile of picture material – and thanks to those managing the Art Project
and Mr. Hoyt of Happy Days – the time is drawing near when I will have nothing to do
but sleep – eat – and draw . . . I assure you I will do my best with every opportunity.”
(Clarence) Marshall Davis

One can easily sense the excitement felt by junior Civilian Conservation Corps (CCC) enrollee Marshall Davis on March 24, 1934 as he put pen to paper and wrote those words to Edward Rowan in the Treasury Department  Washington, D.C.  Marshall Davis was soon to receive an honorable discharge from the CCC making him a civilian free to sign on to the first of the Great Depression government art programs, the Public Works of Art Project (PWAP). Once CCC Director, Robert Fechner and PWAP Director, Edward Bruce became aware of Davis and his remarkable talents they quickly intervened and arranged for his discharge and transfer.

Marshall Davis was caught up in a dramatic and timely turn of events that would enable him to leave CCC Co. 1253, Hattiesburg, Mississippi and embark on a artistic journey that would change his life, career and provide us, eight decades later, with a collection of illustrations and articles that masterfully narrate the life and work of the real CCC.

CCCArtist_Records from the collection and research files of Kath

Marshall Davis-HappyDays-CCCArtist

President Franklin Delano Roosevelt gave his personal approval to the making of a pictorial record of the CCC,  his favorite New Deal work program, by sending artists into CCC camps. If you have seen a copy of Happy Days, a holiday menu, a postcard or one of the CCC handbooks; Your CCC or We Can Take It, you have seen the art of the most prolific CCC artist, Marshall Davis.

As an embedded artist and reporter Marshall Davis traveled extensively within the lower forty-eight states, illustrating and writing on the remarkable successes and often humorous splinters of Roosevelt’s tree army.

He was extremely talented and resourceful. The drawings and personal journey of Marshall Davis add a unique and valuable component, helping us all to gain a better understanding of Americas greatest conservation movement and Americas greatest generation.

Now available – CCC ART – Artists of the Civilian Conservation Corps – Marshall Davis” has been deeply researched. Explaining, perhaps for the first time, the genesis of the CCC art program. It tells the remarkable story of one artist, Marshall Davis, who like so many idle and struggling artists, was desperate for meaningful work during the cruelest years of the Great Depression. No artist knew the CCC better than Marshall Davis, he was one of them

. . .  Until supplies last . . .



Product Details Book –
CCC ART – Artists of the Civilian Conservation Corps
Marshall Davis

  • Paperback: 190 pages
  • Publisher: Duxbury Media, Incorporated; 1 edition (December 5, 2014)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0986003840
  • ISBN-13: 978-0986003844
  • Product Dimensions: 6 x 0.4 x 9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 12.2 ounces


CCC Holidays

by Kathleen on December 18, 2013

Thanksgiving_Marshall-DavisHoliday Greetings

Between 1934 – 1937 the CCC special Art Project was active, the goal was to make a pictorial record of the life and work in the CCC camps.

All CCC artists were directed to be of assistance to the camp authorities when requests of an artistic nature were made. Many created murals for the Recreation Halls, paintings and diagrams for the classrooms and often did illustrations for the camp newspapers and reports. Their artistic talents were very much appreciated as they were called on to create art decorations for the camps and company publications, especially around the holidays.


CCCArtist_Records from the collection and research files of Kath
The most prolific CCC artist was Marshall Davis, he entered the CCC as a regular enrollee and brought along his sketch pad. His talents were soon  recognized and when the CCC special art program began he became a part of it. In time he was offered a staff position at the CCC unofficial newspaper “Happy Days“. His art is found on the Thanksgiving and Christmas menus along with years of illustrations in “Happy Days” and other CCC publications.

Happy Days CCC 1938-11-12-1

A book is in the works – titled ” CCC Artists – Marshall Davis – Artists of the Civilian Conservation Corps“. Publication will be in 2014 and  sizable amount of his CCC art will be featured to illustrate his remarkable story. Suffice to say, no other artist had visited as many CCC camps or knew the program as well as Marshall Davis, his depictions are humorous and poignant, he was a prolific CCC artist.

CCCArtist_Records from the collection and research files of KathAnother artist was Ted Bonnickson who contributed this New Years this cartoon to “Happy Days”. Bonnickson had trained at the Chicago School of Art but, like so many artists of his time he entered the commercial art field during the cruelest years of the Great Depression when their was little to no work for established artists. Bonnickson also signed on as a regular enrollee and like Davis had his status changed to Artist/Enrollee.

Dangers-CCC Some like Arkansas artist,  Benham Carter Dangers, sent sample of his art and applied directly to the agency in Washington, DC, the Section of Painting and Sculpture, that administered the CCC art program for admission. His application was made during the last months of the program and although he may not have had access to the art education of some other artists; he was accepted in to the program because his talents were recognized.  Benham Dangers was a young, unemployed artist, the time spent as a CCC Artist/Enrollee was instructive and empowering. The experience served him well in his future artistic endeavors.

The CCC camp newspapers of the 193o’s, for the most part, were not high quality; often they were printed using the low-budget camp mimeograph machine. Drawing and illustrations did not reproduce well using this method and many of these camp papers were preserved, decades later, by copying them to microfilm  or microfiche, a copying process that does not enhance the lines and details of any art. The copy of the Dangers illustration used for the cover of the camp newspaper “The Cassette” 1936 – 1937 Christmas and New Year edition was in extremely poor condition. All things considered he seems to have mastered the stylus used for this mimeographed stencil.

1935- Day after Thanksgiving Marshall Davis - Happy Days 11/23/1
CCC Camp authorities made an extra effort to entertain and provide a feast that would weigh down the tables, often the camps and the CCC boys reached out to the nearby community, especially the children, and included them in their parties and other holiday celebrations. It was the Great Depression and, as hard as it may have been to be so far away from home and family, holidays in the CCC camps would become for many CCC boys a lifetime memory.



A recommended website to read a wonderful article on the Holidays in the CCC camps can be found here:  Forest Army – Stories from the CCC.
Happy New Year 12-26-1936





George Gordon Snyder – Final Years

June 24, 2013

Part 1 of this story may be found here George Gordon Snyder was like a rolling stone, never in one place for long. Each decade brought change…and with it a new location to call home. His life-long pursuit of art would keep him working hard and challenged as he struggled to support himself, his wife and […]

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Idle Artist of the Great Depression – George Gordon Snyder – Oldest CCC artist

October 26, 2012

By the time the 1934 New Deal CCC artist program commenced George Gordon Snyder, born September 10, 1873 in Charles City, Iowa,  was once again an unemployed artist. George was into his 60’s when he put pen to paper and signed the official CCC  “OATH OF ENROLLMENT“.  He was older than President Franklin Delano Roosevelt […]

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Schedule – CCC Presentations

October 6, 2012

The Civilian Conservation Corps (CCC) is now recognized as the greatest conservation movement in American history. Please tell  your parents, your grandparents, a friend to come and share their stories. Bring your older children so they can learn about the work of young America during the 1930’s Great Depression.      __________ SPEAKING SCHEDULE  2013  __________ November 1 […]

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2012 Trek – South Dakota, Mt. Rushmore, Custer State Park & WPA art

July 31, 2012

Heading west on Route 90 we crossed over into South Dakota and came upon the infamous roadside attraction “Porter Sculpture Park”. Visible from the road was the huge 60 foot tall, 25 ton sculpture of a bulls head (said to be equal in size to the heads at Mount Rushmore) it was only ½ mile off the […]

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2012 Trek – St. Louis, Eldora & Mason City

July 15, 2012

The new location for the National Archives and Personnel Administration records center , 1 Archives Drive, St.Louis, Missouri is conveniently located off Interstate 270…if you are using a navagational system like the Garmin 460T (for trucks) or Microsoft Streets and Trips…enter Dunn Road. The visitor parking lot has a large spot that was perfect for parking “16 Tons”. To […]

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2012 Trek – Washington, D.C.

July 9, 2012

When researching the Civilian Conservation Corps (CCC) one of the better sources for information can be found at the National Archives Records Administration (NARA II) in College Park, Maryland. The best and closest place to camp is at the Greenbelt National Park in Greenbelt, Maryland, it’s less than 5 miles away from the archives.   The park entrance is […]

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Bergen County meets the CCC

June 25, 2012

“America would have paid a dear price in the form of human erosion if it were not for the CCC.” James McEntee, 2nd CCC Director During the Great Depression years the youth of America faced the highest unemployment.  In the Civilian Conservation Corps (CCC) they found work, education, discipline and a means to contribute.  The […]

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Charles C. Foster, CCC Artist

April 12, 2012

Idle Artists of the Great Depression – A Pictorial Record of the Civilian Conservation Corps Charles  Foster  (1913 – 2012) Four years after the stock market crash of 1929 America was grappling with a profound economic depression. One quarter of the nation was unemployed and a staggering number were hungry and homeless.   Newly elected president […]

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