FSA in Kentucky: Photographs, 1935-1943
February 18 - April 30, 2013
Feb 18, 2013
Apr 30, 2013
|Where||Archives & Special Collections (Ekstrom Library Lower Level)|
|Contact Name||Elizabeth Reilly|
|Add event to calendar||
The Farm Security Administration (FSA) photography project, 1935-1944, has long been recognized as a landmark of twentieth century photography, producing some of the most famous images in the history of medium. “Migrant Mother” by Dorothea Lange and “Fleeing a Dust Storm” by Arthur Rothstein are just two examples of FSA images that have since become icons of both documentary photography and the time period in which they were created.
The FSA project was formed as a way to publicize rural poverty and gain national support for New Deal programs to aid poor Americans affected by the Great Depression and the Dust Bowl. Directed by Roy E. Stryker, whose personal papers are held by the University of Louisville Photographic Archives, the project sent photographers such as Dorothea Lange, Russell Lee, and John Vachon throughout the United States shooting nearly 160,000 negatives, now held in the Library of Congress. The resulting 77,000 images selected by Stryker provide a broad yet intimate view of American life in the middle of the twentieth century.
Approximately 13,000 FSA photographs were created in Kentucky, with the majority of them shot by photographer Marion Post Wolcott, whose photograph of a creek baptism in Morehead, KY is one of the more familiar FSA images. These views of everyday life in Kentucky are significant not only as a part of the monumental FSA project, but also because they create a pictorial record of scenes that may have otherwise gone undocumented. Shown on these walls are a selection of photographs originally included in the 1984 University of Louisville Photographic Archives exhibit “Things As They Were” and subsequent book A Kentucky Album: Farm Security Administration Photographs, 1934-1943 by David Horvath and Beverly Brannan.