Sunday, August 1, 2010

Ways of seeing, ways of living

“Photography takes an instant out of time, altering life by holding it still.”
~ Dorothea Lange

Last week the Denver Post set off a Twitter frenzy when it published an astonishing portfolio of color photos taken across the U.S. between 1939 and 1943. The photos are the property of the Library of Congress, so in every sense they are ours to enjoy. I'm posting three here, but to see them full size and enjoy the whole collection, head right on over to the Denver Post blog and enjoy "Captured: America in Color."

I think of this photo, taken in Schreiver, Louisiana, in 1940 by Marion Post Wolcott, as "The Spirit of Huck Finn."

Here, through the lens of Jack Delano, we see how the Brockton Enterprise shared the breaking news of 1940 — from the delay of "Flying Santa" to reports about the war in Europe — with members of its Massachusetts community.

We've all heard of Rosie the Riveter and seen the poster, but here's the real deal: in Alfred T. Palmer's artful 1943 photo, a woman in Tennessee helps to build a Vengeance dive bomber.

The Library of Congress is a storehouse of every sort of American history. The collection it calls "American Memory" extends from 1400 to the present and includes everything from maps and manuscripts to sheet music. Set aside a few hours — or days — to explore.

“Photography records the gamut of feelings written on the human face, the beauty of the earth and skies that man has inherited, and the wealth and confusion man has created. It is a major force in explaining man to man.”
~  Edward Steichen

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