Not long ago I posted about some depression era kodachromes (Lovely Depression era Kodachromes). I recently came across, and acquired, a copy of a Taschen book (New Deal Photography. USA 1935-1943), which contains many more. It also has even more black and white photographs from the same era – more than 400 in all. An introduction describes the work of the Farm Security Administration and each section of the book covers a single geographical area: the Northeast; the Midwest; the West; The South. An appendix provides capsule summaries of the photographers: Esther Bubley; John Collier; Paul Carter; John Collier Jr.; Marjory Collins; Jack Delano; Walker Evans; Charles Fenno Jacobs; Theodor Jung; Dorothea Lange; Russell Lee; Carl Mydans; Alfred T. Palmer; Gordon Parks; Louise Rosskam; Edwin Rosskam; Arthur Rothstein; Ben Shahn; Roy Emerson Stryker; John Vachon; Marion Post Wolcott;

The text is “peppered” with comments/quotations from the photographers. Here’s an example I particularly liked:

There was one farmer, well he was alright, you could take his photograph all over the place, out in the field, and we’d been inside their house and then around almost all day. Russ had walked away down the field taking pictures of something else and I was talking to the man, and he said “What does he do?” And I said, “He takes pictures”. And he man said “You know, you’d think think a great big man like that, he’d get out and get himself a job”. Jean Lee (wife of Russell Lee).

There’s also a fairly long comment by Dorothea Lange describing how she came to take the famous “Migrant Mother” photograph.

Of course the photographs are rather small compared to the originals, but it’s a great overview of the work of the FSA. Well worth the <$20 I paid for it.

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