1. Arthur Rothstein
BANK THAT FAILED, KANSAS
The FSA project emphasized scenes from rural life and the negative impact the Great Depression, farm mechanization, and the Dust Bowl had on the people and way of life. How do the details of the photograph lend to the message that the bank is not successful?
2. Russell Lee
SAN JUAN, TEXAS
What information does this photograph give us about living conditions? What kind of message do you think it sends to people in other parts of the country?
3. Walker Evans
TUSCALOOSA WRECKING COMPANY, TUSCALOOSA, ALABAMA
There are no notes for this image.
4. Jack Delano
What does this man’s expression tell us? Who is he? Does his clothing give us any clues?
5. Arthur Rothstein
BOY IN DOORWAY TO SHARECROPPER’S SHACK
What can we tell about his boy from this picture? What kind of a place is he living in? How do you think he might feel? What visual details tell you so?
6. Arthur Rothstein
MIGRANT TO OREGON FROM SOUTH DAKOTA
What is this man doing? What is he taking with him? What would you take with you if you had to move and could only pack one large bundle?
7. Arthur Rothstein
DUST STORM, CIMARRON COUNTY, OKLAHOMA
What words would you use to describe the setting, house, and actions of the people in this photograph? How do you think this photograph appeared to people who lived in cities or other parts of the country?
8. Russell Lee
YOUNG BLACK GIRLS AT PLAY
Why do you think a depression era photographer took this kind of picture? What kind of a message does this photograph give about the different living conditions of people from this time?
9. Arthur Rothstein
GARRETT COUNTY, MARYLAND
Look at the expressions and body language of the people in this photograph. What can they tell you about how they are feeling? What can we tell about their environment from other clues in this image?
10. Arthur Rothstein
FARM LABOR UNION, GALENA, KANSAS
Contrast this type of portrait with the image before it. Are the messages they send the same? How would you describe this group?
11. Carl Mydans
What types of possessions do the occupants of this house own or choose to display? Does this architectural structure look sturdy? Does this look like a safe place to live?
12. Arthur Rothstein
JOHN DUDEK, FARMER, DALTON, NY
Does this person look like he was posed by the photographer? Pick details to support your answer. Why do you think the photographer has included this portrait of George Washington?
13. Arthur Rothstein
CATTLE SKULL, BAD LANDS SOUTH DAKOTA
The photographer chose to put very few things in this picture to tell about the Depression. Describe the condition of the soil. Why do you think Rothstein included the skull? What might it be a symbol of?
14. Walker Evans
WESTCHESTER COUNTY (NEAR OSSINING)
Look closely at the details of this and the next picture. Look at the size of the people in relation to the rest of the scene. Are they portraits of the people in them, or is there another story the photograph is trying to tell?
15. John Collier
G’PA ROWEND, TRAMPAS, NEW MEXICO
There are no notes for this image.
16. Walker Evans
COAL MINER’S HOUSE
What can we tell about the coal miner just from looking at his house and the objects in it? What might some of the objects be symbols of?
17. Arthur Rothstein
MRS. DODSON WITH ONE OF HER 9 CHILDREN, BLUE RIDGE MTS., VIRGINIA
Is there anything we can tell about the way the Dodson family lives from this image?
18. Arthur Rothstein
DOCTOR WITH SICK CHILD, MARSHALLTOWN, IOWA
Why do you think the photographer chose to show us this scene in the life of the family? What kind of mood does he create? What are some details you see that make it feel that way?
19. Dorothea Lange
THE BODY LAY THERE IN THE DOORWAY OF THE CHURCH THAT THE PEOPLE HAD BUILT
Why do you think the photographer uses this title? What does it ask us to think about?
20. Arthur Rothstein
MISSISSIPPI RIVER FLOODS, ST. LOUIS, MISSOURI
Here is one way to show the consequences of the flood. What might be some other ways to tell this story in a picture?
21. John Vachon
KEMPTON, WEST VIRGINIA
What is behind this woman? What might this woman do for a living? farmer? mother? cook? banker? lawyer? doctor? sharecropper? migrant worker? Do you think she was posed by the photographer?
22. Arthur Rothstein
VERNON EVANS AND FAMILY ON HIGHWAY 10, MONTANA
What do we know about the Evans family from this picture? Is this the kind of road we think of when we hear the word highway? What kind of a journey do you think it might be?
23. Walker Evans
STREET SCENE, VICKSBURG, MISS.
What kind of a place is Vicksburg? What might it be like to be there? Use visual details to support your description.
24. Walker Evans
BURROUGHS FAMILY, HALE COUNTY, ALABAMA
Why would a photographer include this kind of family portrait to tell a story about the Great Depression?
25. Walker Evans
PAUL'S RESTAURANT, NEW YORK CITY
Does this restaurant look like it is open for business? What details support your answer? Why do you think Evans included a person on the steps?
26. Walker Evans
ROADSIDE STAND NEAR BIRMINGHAM
How does this photograph fit into the story of the Great Depression?
27. Dorothea Lange
MAILBOXES NEAR MILLS, NEW MEXICO
What environment is around these mailboxes? How do they look? Think about their purpose. What might they be a symbol of?
28. John Vachon
KEMPTON, WEST VIRGINIA
Describe the boy’s facial expression. What type of structure is the boy standing against?
29. Walker Evans
TORN POSTER, TRURO, MASSACHUSETTS
Motion pictures were a popular diversion during this era. Describe the condition of this movie poster. How long do you think it has been up?
30. Walker Evans
What kind of a room is this? Who do you think is in the picture on the wall? What is the object next to the bed?
31. Dorothea Lange
HOE CULTURE, ALABAMA
Describe this man’s hands, his clothing, the climate, and the soil in the background. What is this man’s profession? Why did Lange chose not to show his face?
32. Dorothea Lange
EX-SLAVE WITH LONG MEMORY, ALABAMA
Describe the woman’s clothing, posture, facial expression, and location. How does the title add to the way we think about the image?
33. Dorothea Lange
KERN COUNTY, CALIFORNIA
Contrast the way of life of the person in the billboard with the people camped below it.
34. Dorothea Lange
DITCHED, STALLED AND STRANDED, SAN JOAQUIN VALLEY, CALIFORNIA
Describe the facial expression of the man in the photograph. Does it go along with the title of the photograph?
35. Dorothea Lange
DAMAGED CHILD, SHACKTOWN, ELM GROVE, OKLAHOMA
How do you think people from this time felt when they saw pictures of children like this one?
36. Dorothea Lange
WHITE ANGEL BREAD LINE, SAN FRANCISCO
How does seeing the man’s face help tell the story in this picture? What does his facial expression and posture reveal? his clothing? his hands? What do you think it was like to wait on a bread line based on what you see here?
37. Dorothea Lange
Describe the facial expression and gesture of the woman in this picture. What are her children doing? Describe the clothes the subjects are wearing. How close does the photographer bring us to this family? This is one of the most famous (or iconic), images of the Great Depression. Why do you think so many people responded to it?
38. Arthur Rothstein
SHARECROPPER'S WIFE AND CHILD, ARKANSAS
Where are the people in this photograph? What is the mood of the photograph? What details set the mood?
39. Arthur Rothstein
GEE'S BEND, ALABAMA
What does this girl’s poise and her facial expression tell you about her? What words would you use to describe the building she is in? What does its appearance tell you about her way of life?
40. Walker Evans
TIN BUILDING, ALABAMA
What does the sign on the building tell you? Is the building most likely in use now?
41. Dorothea Lange
MIGRATORY COTTON PICKER
What words would you use to describe the man’s gesture? What does the texture of the man’s skin tell you?
42. John Vachon
RIDING OUT TO BRING BACK CATTLE
First Stages of Snow Blizzard
Describe this setting. Where does the road lead to? Where are the cattle? What information does this photograph give us about this way of life?
43. Marion Post Wolcott
Do you recognize the building that is barely visible in the background? How does it compare with the street scene in front?
44. Marion Post Wolcott
What is the main subject in this photograph?
45. Marion Post Wolcott
MARINE, W. VA., WIFE OF AN UNEMPLOYED MINER
Does the woman in this photograph look healthy?
46. Jack Delano
RAILROAD WORKER WHOSE JOB IT IS TO INSPECT JOURNAL BOXES, BRAKE SHOES, ETC. AND MAKE MINOR REPAIRS AT A CHICAGO AND NORTHWESTERN RAILROAD
Hired by the U.S. government, the FSA photographers documented the Depression but with very different approaches. Here Delano gives us a human portrait of the worker in the photograph and his statistical data in the title.
47. Gordon Parks
MOTHER AND CHILDREN IN GHETTO APARTMENT
Describe the space within the building they are occupying. What other details does this photograph give us about life in this apartment for this family?
48. Margaret Bourke-White
AT THE TIME OF THE LOUISVILLE FLOOD
What are the people in this photograph doing? Do they seem to be aware of the photographer? Why do you think the photographer chose to show us this part of the line in front of this billboard?