Past Exhibitions :: "This Great Nation Will Endure" Photographs of the Great Depression

Thursday, October 1, 2009 - Sunday, March 14, 2010
Photography Gallery

A woman and a small child
(Detail) Mother and baby of family on the road. Tulelake, Siskiyou County, California. Dorothea Lange, September 1939.

Curated and designed by staff at the Franklin D. Roosevelt Presidential Library and Museum in Hyde Park, New York, this traveling exhibition features more than 150 images of America taken between 1935 and 1942 by the legendary photographic unit of the Farm Security Administration (FSA). The FSA was a New Deal agency created by President Franklin D. Roosevelt to help farmers and farm laborers who were confronting economic depression and natural disaster, including the ecological disaster known as the Dust Bowl. A remarkable group of photographers were employed, including Dorothea Lange, Gordon Parks, Ben Shan, Walker Evans, Arthur Rothstein, Carl Mydans, Russell Lee, John Vachon, Marion Post Walcott, and Jack Delano, and their work constitutes a monumental record of life in the United States at the time. Many of these images have reached iconic status, collectively confirming President Roosevelt’s bold assertion in his first inaugural address, delivered at the lowest point in the Great Depression: “This great nation will endure as it has endured, will revive and prosper … the only thing we have to fear is fear itself … .” The prints included in the exhibition were produced in 2004 from negatives in the FSA collection at the Library of Congress.

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