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Depression-Era America Through The Eyes of a Photographer

Photography By

Along with its efforts to improve the lives of those living in rural poverty, the Farm Security Administration hired photographers to document its programs. At the height of the Great Depression, the documentary photographers were sent into some of the hardest-hit areas of the country. Today, their record serves as a testament both to one of the United States’ lowest points and the resiliency of a country that pulled through.

New Deal Photography brings together the work of FSA photographers Marion Post Wolcott, Jack Delano, Russell Lee, Walker Evans, Ben Shahn, and Dorothea Lange. Their collective efforts, stretching from 1935 to 1943, capture the complete spectrum of American rural life–orphaned migrant workers, convicts, cotton workers, and more. The book also features insight from the photographers themselves. Enjoy a preview of the book below. You can purchase it here.

Parade at the fair in Albany, Vermont during September 1936. (Carl Mydans; Prints and Photographs Division, Library of Congress, Washington, D. C.)
Parade at the fair in Albany, Vermont during September 1936. (Carl Mydans; Prints and Photographs Division, Library of Congress, Washington, D. C.)
Traveling evangelists between Lafayette and Scott in Crowley, Louisiana during 1938. They have spent twenty-five years on the road preaching the gospel. (Russell Lee; Prints and Photographs Division, Library of Congress, Washington, D. C.)
Traveling evangelists between Lafayette and Scott in Crowley, Louisiana during 1938. They have spent twenty-five years on the road preaching the gospel. (Russell Lee; Prints and Photographs Division, Library of Congress, Washington, D. C.)
Motherless migrant children that work in the cotton fields in California during June 1935. (Dorothea Lange; Prints and Photographs Division, Library of Congress, Washington, D. C.)
Motherless migrant children that work in the cotton fields in California during June 1935. (Dorothea Lange; Prints and Photographs Division, Library of Congress, Washington, D. C.)
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