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Portrait of Depression-Era America
September 24, 2010–January 9, 2011
Portrait of Depression-Era America features 22 prints by 10 photographers working during the depths of the Great Depression, most of whom were associated with the Farm Security Administration (FSA). They include Walker Evans, Ben Shahn, Arthur Rothstein, and Dorothea Lange. Navigating between the artistic and the journalistic, these photographers excelled at distilling complex situations into single, powerful images. More than half the prints in this exhibition were taken specifically for the FSA and were circulated in magazines, books, and exhibitions. Begun in 1935, the FSA, a New Deal agency, undertook the largest photography project ever sponsored by the US government. The photographers it employed documented conditions of rural and urban poverty with a sobering directness in the hope of motivating social and economic reforms.

Curated by Eric Lutz, assistant curator of prints, drawings and photographs, Portrait of Depression-Era America, will be on view in Galleries 321 and 322 through January 9, 2011.

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