New Deal Photography: USA 1935-1943 (Bibliotheca Universalis)
Another country: How the Farm Security Administration introduced America to Americans
Amid the ravages of the Great Depression, the United States Farm Security Administration (FSA) was first founded in 1935 to address the country’s rural poverty. Its efforts focused on improving the lives of sharecroppers, tenants, and very poor landowning farmers, with resettlement and collectivization programs, as well as modernized farming methods. In a parallel documentation program, the FSA hired a number of photographers and writers to record the lives of the rural poor and “introduce America to Americans.”
This book records the full reach of the FSA program from 1935 to 1943, honoring its vigor and commitment across subjects, states, and stylistic preferences. The photographs are arranged into four broad photoregional sections but otherwise allowed to speak for themselves–to provide individual impressions as much as they cumulatively build an indelible survey of a nation. Through color and black-and-white images, we meet convicts, cotton workers, kids on the street, and relocated workers on the road. We see subjects victim to the elements of nature and the timeless rituals of human life, as much as to the vagaries of the global economic market. We meet Dorothea Lange’s iconic Migrant Mother, weather-beaten and worn, with two children leaning on her shoulders.
What unites all of the pictures is a commitment to the individuality and dignity of each subject, as much as to the witness they bear to this particular period of the American past and to universal cycles of growing, playing, eating, aging, ailing, and dying. Through the lenses of such perceptive, sensitive photographers as Dorothea Lange, Jack Delano, Russell Lee, Marion Post Wolcott, Walker Evans, and Ben Shahn, subjects are entrenched in the hardships of their historical lot, caught in the loop of humanity, and yet face the viewer with what is utterly their own: a unique, irreplaceable, often unforgettable presence.
About the series:
Bibliotheca Universalis— Compact cultural companions celebrating the eclectic TASCHEN universe at an unbeatable, democratic price! Since we started our work as cultural archaeologists in 1980, the name TASCHEN has become synonymous with accessible, open-minded publishing. Bibliotheca Universalis brings together nearly 100 of our all-time favorite titles in a neat new format so you can curate your own affordable library of art, anthropology, and aphrodisia. Bookworm’s delight — never bore, always excite!
Text in English, French, and German
Author: Peter Walther
Size: 5.75 x 7.75 x 1.75
Notes: hardcover, full color, multilingual edition
Release Date: July 27, 2016