Photography

Rothstein, Arthur (1915 - 1985)

The son of Jewish immigrants, raised in New York City and educated at Columbia University, Arthur Rothstein was the first photographer hired at the Resettlement Administration, a New Deal agency that, from 1935 to 1936, relocated struggling families to communities planned by the federal government. From then, he captured the most significant photographs of rural America, illuminating its quiet families. One of these families turned out to be at the centre of an iconic image of the Dust Bowl: ‘I was about to get into my car when I turned to wave to [Coble and his two sons] and I looked and saw this man bending into the wind, with one of the boys in front of him and another one behind him, and great swirls of sand all around, which made the sky and the earth become one. And I said, 'What a picture this is!' and I just picked up my camera and went 'click.' One photograph, one shot, one negative.’ Well, art often proves how all you need is one simple image to access mythology.
 

Arthur Rothstein, Gee's Bend, Alabama, 1937
Arthur Rothstein, Gee's Bend, Alabama, 1937
Arthur Rothstein, Children of John Wilson, 1935
Arthur Rothstein, Children of John Wilson, 1935
Arthur Rothstein, Fleeing a dust storm, Farmer Arthur Coble and sons walking in the face of a dust storm, Cimmaron County, Oklahoma, 1936
Arthur Rothstein, Fleeing a dust storm, Farmer Arthur Coble and sons walking in the face of a dust storm, Cimmaron County, Oklahoma, 1936
Arthur Rothstein, Mississippi Cabin with Children
Arthur Rothstein, Mississippi Cabin with Children
Arthur Rothstein, Mississippi House
Arthur Rothstein, Mississippi House
Arthur Rothstein, Mississippi Mother and Children
Arthur Rothstein, Mississippi Mother and Children
Arthur Rothstein, Mississippi Sharecropper’s Daughter, 1935
Arthur Rothstein, Mississippi Sharecropper’s Daughter, 1935
Arthur Rothstein, Painting Class in School, Westmoreland Homesteads, Pennsylvania, 1937
Arthur Rothstein, Painting Class in School, Westmoreland Homesteads, Pennsylvania, 1937
Arthur Rothstein, 1936
Arthur Rothstein, 1936
Arthur Rothstein, Puppeteers, Red House, West Virginia, 1937
Arthur Rothstein, Puppeteers, Red House, West Virginia, 1937
Arthur Rothstein, Rehabilitation Client, Washington County, Arkansas, 1916
Arthur Rothstein, Rehabilitation Client, Washington County, Arkansas, 1916
Arthur Rothstein, Son of farmer in Dust Bowl area, Cimarron County, Oklahoma, 1936
Arthur Rothstein, Son of farmer in Dust Bowl area, Cimarron County, Oklahoma, 1936
Arthur Rothstein, Son of farmer in Dust Bowl area, Cimarron County, Oklahoma, 1936
Arthur Rothstein, Son of farmer in Dust Bowl area, Cimarron County, Oklahoma, 1936
Arthur Rothstein, Stock watering hole almost completely covered by shifting topsoil, Cimarron County, Oklahoma, 1936
Arthur Rothstein, Stock watering hole almost completely covered by shifting topsoil, Cimarron County, Oklahoma, 1936
Arthur Rothstein, Tennessee Valley Authority brings power to the south, 1942
Arthur Rothstein, Tennessee Valley Authority brings power to the south, 1942
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