History · Julia P · Non-Fiction · Photography

The Photographs of Marion Post Wolcott

The Photographs of Marion Post Wolcott by Marion Post Wolcott
(Library of Congress, 2008, 50 pages)

Even though you may not know the name Marion Post Wolcott, you undoubtedly know her work.  I saw an article somewhere that talked about Wolcott and it showed one of her photographs.  Something about her made me want to learn more.  I wanted to see what kind of photographs she took when working for the Farm Security Administration during the 1930s and 40s.  Even though this book only offered a little biographical information (provided in the introduction by Francine Prose), it was enough to provide a good basic overview of who she was, how she came to take the photographs that she did, and why it is so few people seem to know her name, despite having some very well-known photographs.

This was a small book, published by the Library of Congress, highlighting 50 of Wolcott’s photographs.  She does an amazing job capturing the diverse (and, arguably, divisive) nature of our country during the 30s and 40s.  It’s amazing how much can be captured in a single photograph.

I think this was a good gateway book because it got me interested in the FSA – Office of War Information collection of photographs (documenting life in America from the Depression to WWII), it made me want to learn more about Wolcott specifically, and it got me thinking about the WPA…  So there are a lot of different directions I could take this.  But I guess it says a lot about Wolcott’s work that my mind’s going in all these different directions.

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