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Monday, 6 September 2010

John Vachon: In the Heartland: Flight


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Image, Source: b&w film copy neg. of print

Image, Source: digital file from intermediary roll film

Image, Source: digital file from intermediary roll film

Boy hopping freight train, Dubuque, Iowa, April 1940

Image, Source: digital file from intermediary roll film

Man in hobo jungle killing turtle to make soup, Minneapolis, Minnesota, September 1939

Image, Source: digital file from intermediary roll film

Man in hobo jungle, Minneapolis, Minnesota, September 1939

Image, Source: digital file from intermediary roll film

Man in hobo jungle, Minneapolis, Minnesota, September 1939

Image, Source: digital file from intermediary roll film

Unemployed men in Gateway District, Minneapolis, September 1939

Image, Source: digital file from intermediary roll film

Child who lives on the other side of the tracks, Minneapolis, Minnesota, September 1939

Image, Source: digital file from intermediary roll film

Railroad depot, Grand Island, Nebraska, November 1938

Image, Source: digital file from original neg.

Unemployed man, Omaha, Nebraska, November 1938

Image, Source: digital file from original neg.

Farm wife waiting in the car while her husband attends auction, Oskaloosa, Kansas, October 1938

Image, Source: digital file from intermediary roll film

Boys playing with bows and arrows near railroad yards, Dubuque, Iowa, April 1940

Image, Source: digital file from intermediary roll film

Car belonging to "white spot" enthusiast ("...the white spot of the nation, no luxury tax, no bonded debt, highways all paid for..."), Omaha, Nebraska, November 1938

Image, Source: digital file from intermediary roll film

Boy with family belongings in automobile, Yates Center, Kansas, October 1938


Photos by John Vachon (Farm Security Administration/Office of War Information Collection, Library of Congress)

7 comments:

STEPHEN RATCLIFFE said...

Tom,

Thanks for "John Vachon: In the Heartland: Flight" -- each one is, in some particular and mysterious way, "heart[land]breaking". . . .

curtisroberts said...

I began composing a thought that included the word "heartbreaking" before glancing to the left and seeing Steve's comment. I think for me, the fact that not each of the shots in this series is heartbreaking (for example, the boy hopping the train suggests happy youth, freedom and hope) reinforces the heartbreaking quality of the whole.

TC said...

Yes, I felt the same way about these. Stephen, as the father of a young child, you probably have a particular sensitivity with these images -- the vulnerability of exposure that came with poverty then, of course most affecting when thought of in its effects on the children.

Who would soon be us.

Elmo St. Rose said...

similar photos
throughout this
exhibit are
apparent today

a great work
might be a
juxtaposition

Farm Security Administration
for the Great Depression,
so far un-named
for 2010,and still muted,
as long as the Chinese
keeping loaning us money

TC said...

Well, the Chinese haven't loaned me any money, the current Depression has had and is having material effects in this area that are hardly more muted than a scream of pain, and worse yet, the structure of belief and value, founded in a largely rural society, upon which the New Deal programs were based, is no longer anything but a faint memory. Those same "country" areas which were once the bedrock are now the sites of multiple fracture, as the various "tea party" factions clash over the who and how of constructing some kind of fantasmal new American Business Reich.

Marylinn Kelly said...

The photos speak so plainly, the story they told then and the implications for now can be felt in the heart. When did we become people who could not be trusted with the truth, for surely it was not always so?

TC said...

As the divide between the rich and the poor daily grows more dramatic, so too must the political rhetoric be stretched further and further to conceal the ever more terrible truth.