In my post yesterday, I mentioned the Farm Security Administration and the photographers they hired to raise awareness, as we've come to call it, about "rural poverty." Looking back at that time, and living on the edge of it myself during the mid-to-late 1950's, it seems redundant. There were no wealthy people in rural America, and very few middle-class. The rural areas consisted almost exclusively of farmers, and most weren't even in striking distance of the middle-class, let alone any semblance of wealth as it's measured by most segments of society.
Besides the photographs taken in black and white, which created a stark vision of these people and their way of life, the photographers also shot many photos in color, which put things in yet another perspective. These included other aspects of American life during this period in our history. A few years ago, the Library of Congress held an exhibit of these photos called, "Bound for Glory: America in Color." Last week, a friend sent a link to the Denver Post and its Plog, a blog dedicated to photography, which features the images shown at that exhibit. I'm including a link to that page, along with a few of my favorites. It's not just the subjects that speak to me in these photographs, but the colors, the compositions, and the stories they tell.
Here's the link to the Denver Post Plog and the photographs. They speak for themselves:
Captured: America in Color from 1939-1943 – Plog Photo Blog
The photos (taken from color slides) and the photographers, in order:
A starch factory in Caribou, Aroostook County, Maine, 1940, by Jack Delano
Rural school children in San Augustin County, Texas, 1943, by John Vachon
Greene County, Georgia, 1941, by Jack Delano
Farm auction, Derby, Connecticut, 1940, by Jack Delano (Note the couple in the right foreground)
Woman at roundhouse giving a locomotive a steam bath, Clinton, Iowa, 1942, by Jack Delano
Welder in rail yard, Chicago, 1943, by Jack Delano
Assembling B-25 bombers, Kansas City, Kansas, 1942, by Alfred T. Palmer
The Caudill's, Pie Town, New Mexico, 1940, by Russell Lee
Juke Joint, Belle Glade, Florida, 1941, by Marion Post Wolcott
Note: remember that they can be enlarged by clicking on them.