Art & Documentary

"If there is horror, it is for those who speak indifferently of the next war. If there is hate, it is for the hateful qualities, not nations. If there is love, it is because this alone kept me alive." - Claude Cahun
Claude Cahun, Self-Portrait in Sailor Hat, 1920.











Claude Cahun
1893 - 1954


Claude Cahun, Self-portrait, c. 1928.











Claude Cahun, Self-portrait, c. 1928.
Claude Cahun, Marcel Moore, c. 1928.











Claude Cahun, Self-portrait, c. 1929.











Claude Cahun, Self-Portrait, c. 1929.


Joan Riviere's Womanliness as Masquerade, 1929











Claude Cahun, Self-Portrait, c. 1929.
Claude Cahun, Self-Portrai, c. 1929.











Surrealists around Rene Magritte painting.  Published in La Revolution Surrealiste December 15, 1929.


"I do not see the woman hidden in the forest."










Ingres' Violin

Man Ray, Ingres' Violin, 1924.











Man Ray, Tears, 1930 - 1932
Man Ray, Noir et Blanche, 1925










Lee Miller
Man Ray, Lee Miller (Neck), 1930.
Man Ray, Anatomies, 1930.






















The Great Depression
1929 - 1941
Global economic crisis
  • Numerous bank failures and factory closures sparked by the 1929 NY Stock Market crash
  • 1 out of 4 workers unemployed at a time when most families survived on one income
  • Dramatic drop in industrial production
1931 drought, wind storms and over farming turned the Great Plains into the Dust Bowl
Dorothea Lange, Tractored Out, Childress County, Texas, 1939.











The New Deal
1933 - 1937

Direct relief, economic recovery and financial reform
New Deal programs oversaw loans, flood control, migrant camps, agricultural education, work relief and the creation of the social security system
Dorothea Lange,  Men Walking Towards
Los Angeles
, c. 1935.










Resettlement Administration (later known as the Farm Security Administration) intended to move distressed farmers into more economically viable service and industrial jobs
  • Roy E. Stryker appointed chief of the historical section
  • Historical section's aim was to gather visual evidence in support of the RA's good works and to distribute these images, free of charge, to the nation's news agencies
FSA, Okies, c. 1935.











Dorothea Lange











"I saw and approached the hungry and desperate mother, as if drawn by a magnet. I do not remember how I explained my presence or my camera to her, but I do remember she asked me no questions.











I made five exposures, working closer and closer from the same direction. I did not ask her name or her history. She told me her age, that she was thirty-two.











She said that they had been living on frozen vegetables from the surrounding fields, and birds that the children killed. She had just sold the tires from her car to buy food.











There she sat in that lean-to tent with her children huddled around her, and seemed to know that my pictures might help her, and so she helped me. There was a sort of equality about it." - Dorothea Lange











Dorothea Lange, Migrant Mother, Nipomo, California, 1936.











Midweed Pictorial spread using Migrant Mother image. October 17, 1936.










Bill Ganzel, Florence Owens Thompson and her daughters Norma, Katherine and Ruby, 1979.











Walker Evans, Car Parts, c. 1930.











Walker Evans, Shoeshine Stand, 1936.











Allie Mae Burroughs

Walker Evans, Floyd Burroughs, 1936.
Walker Evans, Allie Mae Burroughs, 1936.










Burrough's Kitchen

Walker Evans, Kitchen in Floyd Burroughs's Home, 1936.
Walker Evans, Kitchen Corner in Floyd Burroughs's Home, 1936.












1938 Walker Evans's work exhibited at the Museum of Modern Art's first show devoted to a photographer











Henry Robinson Luce
1898 -1967


Life Magazine
1936 - 2007

Life Magazine- first cover

Wanted to publish new magazine that would:
Tell newsworthy stories
Promote mainstream American values
Was a pleasure to look at
Eloquently combined pictures and text to convey its messages
Margaret Bourke-White, Fort Peck Dam, Montana, First issue of Life magazine, November 23, 1936.










Luce's concept: "Pictures and words would be partners… The camera would act as interpreter, recording what modern industrial civilization is, how it looks, how it meshes."
- Margaret Bourke W

Life magazine layout for the photo essay, Nurse Midwife, 1951.











Life Magazine aimed to humanize politics through photography
  • Vivid images that spontaneously captured poignant moments
  • Large-size format
  • Printed on coated stock for a glossy sheen











Margaret Bourke-White
1904 - 1971



Photojournalism = particular form of journalism that creates images in order to tell a news story

Oscar Graubner, Margaret Bourke-White atop the Chrysler Building, c. 1930
Margaret Bourke-White, Chrysler Building, 1931.











Margaret Bourke-White, Louisville Flood Victims, 1937.











Margaret Bourke-White, Self-porait, 1943.











Margaret Bourke-White, Buchenwald, 1945.