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A black and white photo of a family having a picnic, Great Depression. FSA/OWI Photograph


A black and white photo of a family having a picnic, Great Depression. FSA/OWI Photograph



This image is one of the images made by photographers working in Stryker's unit as it existed in a succession of government agencies: the Resettlement Administration (1935-1937).

The photographs of the Farm Security Administration - Office of War Information Photograph Collection form an extensive pictorial record of American life between 1935 and 1944. This U.S. government photography project was headed for most of its existence by Roy E. Stryker, formerly an economics instructor at Columbia University, and employed such photographers as Walker Evans, Dorothea Lange, Russell Lee, Arthur Rothstein, Ben Shahn, Jack Delano, Marion Post Wolcott, Gordon Parks, John Vachon, and Carl Mydans.

The unit's main office was in Washington, D.C. The office distributed photographic equipment and film, drew up budgets, allocated travel funds, hired staff, developed, printed, and numbered most negatives, reviewed developed film, edited photographers' captions written in the field, and maintained files of negatives, prints, and captions.

Staff photographers were given specific subjects and/or geographic areas to cover. These field assignments often lasted several months. Rejected images were classified as "killed." In earlier phases of the project a hole was sometimes punched through the "killed" negatives; later, this practice was abandoned. The rejected images are usually near duplicates and alternate views of a printed negative.



1940 - 1945


Library of Congress

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