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Great Depression and World War II, 1929-1945
Art and Entertainment in the 1930s and 1940s
Photographing the People of the Depression

The Federal Art Project was a government program designed to provide work for artists affected by the Depression. Many artists painted murals on such public buildings as courthouses and post offices. Some of these murals can still be seen today. Photographers working for the Farm Security Administration also fanned out across the country to document the effects of the Depression. The work of such photographers as Dorothea Lange and Walker Evans not only provides enduring evidence of the "Hard Times" but also established the photographic documentary as an art form. Examine the pictures below. What evidence do they provide of the hardships of the Depression? How does looking at the photographs make you feel? What techniques did the photographers use to achieve this emotional effect? Would you classify these photographs as art? Why or why not?

Click on the photographs to view larger images. Find additional related images in Photographs from the FSA and OWI, 1935-1945. Use your browser's Back Button to return to this point.


Walker Evans Photographs

boy in hale county

William Fields, Hale County, Alabama

hitchhikers

Hitchhikers in Vicksburg, Mississippi

flood waters

Farmyard covered with flood waters, Ridgeley, Tennessee

children in tupelo

Negro children, Tupelo, Mississippi

Dorothea Lange Photographs

transients

A depression-routed family of nine, Iowa

poverty

People living in miserable poverty, Elm Grove, Oklahoma

migrant

Eighteen-year-old mother from Oklahoma

corn

Corn - drought stricken, Russellville, Arkansas


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Click on the photographs to view larger images. Find additional related images in Photographs from the FSA and OWI, 1935-1945. Use your browser's Back Button to return to this point.