Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Color photographs of the Great Depression

How easy it is to think of eras gone by as being more drab and subdued than our own time. Especially the Great Depression: I think imagining it as being all black and white must be the "default" setting in the minds of many.

And then photos like this of a grocery store in Washington D.C., taken in 1941, show us otherwise...

Between 1939 and 1943 the Farm Security Administration and the Office of War Information made some of the only known full-color photographs of small-town life during the Great Depression and early years of World War II. These became part of a Library of Congress exhibit in 2006 called Bound for Glory: America in Color. And now the Denver Post has made them available online. Some of the photographs are curiously sweet. Others are especially haunting. And each of them brings to stark crisp life a forgotten facet of the way we used to be, once upon a time...

2 comments:

Mike C. said...

Awesome find.

Anonymous said...

Thanks for posting these. I love color photos and films from that time period, really brings a different perspective from black & white.

It struck me how much our society and culture has changed in 70 years -- mostly NOT for the better. I noticed how few obese Americans there were in these shots. What a lazy, self indulgent people we have become...

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Color photographs of the Great Depression

How easy it is to think of eras gone by as being more drab and subdued than our own time. Especially the Great Depression: I think imagining it as being all black and white must be the "default" setting in the minds of many.

And then photos like this of a grocery store in Washington D.C., taken in 1941, show us otherwise...

Between 1939 and 1943 the Farm Security Administration and the Office of War Information made some of the only known full-color photographs of small-town life during the Great Depression and early years of World War II. These became part of a Library of Congress exhibit in 2006 called Bound for Glory: America in Color. And now the Denver Post has made them available online. Some of the photographs are curiously sweet. Others are especially haunting. And each of them brings to stark crisp life a forgotten facet of the way we used to be, once upon a time...

2 comments:

Mike C. said...

Awesome find.

Anonymous said...

Thanks for posting these. I love color photos and films from that time period, really brings a different perspective from black & white.

It struck me how much our society and culture has changed in 70 years -- mostly NOT for the better. I noticed how few obese Americans there were in these shots. What a lazy, self indulgent people we have become...