Over the next two weeks, we’ll be celebrating the beginning of a new fiscal year by reviewing some notable items and collections that arrived here at the Rubenstein Library in the past year.
The photographs made for the Farm Security Administration form a profound pictorial record of American life during and following the Great Depression. Between 1935-1944 the FSA commissioned photographers including Walker Evans, Dorothea Lange, Russell Lee, Arthur Rothstein, Ben Shahn, Jack Delano, Marion Post Wolcott, Gordon Parks, and Carl Mydans initially to document the challenges facing farmers and migratory agricultural workers as part of the New Deal. The project eventually expanded to include documentation of urban living conditions across the U.S. as well. This collective work for the FSA made a major contribution to the then burgeoning practice of documentary photography and many FSA contributors ultimately became icons of 20th century photography.
This portfolio includes 10 images that Rothstein believed were representative of the FSA’s overall output including the now iconic “Migrant Mother” photograph by Dorthea Lange.
See a comprehensive visualization of FSA photography on Photogrammar.
Post contributed by Lisa McCarty, Curator of the Archive of Documentary Arts