JOHN VACHON'S AMERICA: Photographs and Letters from the Depression to World War II.

Vachon, John. Edited by Miles Orvell.

ISBN 10: 0520223780 / ISBN 13: 9780520223783
Published by Berkeley University of California (2003) dj, 2003
Hardcover
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Hardcover first edition - First edition "From 1936 to 1943, John Vachon traveled across America as part of the Farm Security Administration photography project, documenting the desperate world of the Great Depression and also the efforts at resistance—from strikes to stoic determination. This collection, the first to feature Vachon's work, offers a stirring and elegant record of this extraordinary photographer's vision and of America's land and people as the country moved from the depths of the Depression to the dramatic mobilization for World War II.'" Edited with introductory text by Miles Orvell, Illustrated throughout with black and white photographs . Notes and list of illustrations, works cited , index. Somewhat oversized square format. 344 pp. Fine in fine dust jacket. Bookseller Inventory # 60771

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Bibliographic Details

Title: JOHN VACHON'S AMERICA: Photographs and ...

Publisher: Berkeley University of California (2003) dj

Publication Date: 2003

Binding: Hardcover

Dust Jacket Condition: Dust Jacket Included

Edition: 1st Edition

About this title

Synopsis:

From 1936 to 1943, John Vachon traveled across America as part of the Farm Security Administration photography project, documenting the desperate world of the Great Depression and also the efforts at resistance—from strikes to stoic determination. This collection, the first to feature Vachon's work, offers a stirring and elegant record of this extraordinary photographer's vision and of America's land and people as the country moved from the depths of the Depression to the dramatic mobilization for World War II. Vachon's portraits of white and black Americans are among the most affecting that FSA photographers produced; and his portrayals of the American landscape, from rural scenes to small towns and urban centers, present a remarkable visual account of these pivotal years, in a style that is transitional from Walker Evans to Robert Frank.

Vachon nurtured a lifelong ambition to be a writer, and the intimate and revealing letters he wrote from the field to his wife back home reflect vividly on American conditions, on movies and jazz, on landscape, and on his job fulfilling the directives from Washington to capture the heart of America. Together, these letters and photographs, along with journal entries and other writings by Vachon, constitute a multifaceted biography of this remarkable photographer and a unique look at the years he captured in such unforgettable images.

From the Inside Flap:

"This fascinating book arrives at just the right moment, making a fresh contribution to renewed public and scholarly interest in the New Deal's FSA photography project and its part in the genesis of modern visual culture. Miles Orvell's skillful assemblage of image and word succeeds brilliantly in evoking John Vachon as both gifted photographer and complex man amidst his turbulent times. Vachon's pictures are at once subtle and truthful, and the texts Orvell has written and collected here illuminate the interplay of individual talent, institutional mandate, and popular ideology that powered the FSA's picture making process."—Maren Stange, author of Bronzeville: Black Chicago in Pictures, 1941-1943

"Miles Orvell has created an intriguing picture of a talented, introspective man as he goes about his work as an FSA photographer during the late 1930s and early 1940s. The various parts of the book come together to give us a non-fiction view of the USA and provide insight into documentary photography and the whole FSA project."—Townsend Ludington, author of John Dos Passos: A Twentieth-Century Odyssey and Marsden Hartley: The Biography of an American Artist

"In this exciting and provocative book, Miles Orvell addresses an extremely important topic in the history of documentary photography. John Vachon's images and correspondence provide a fascinating counter-narrative to the end of American isolation and the coming of World War II. His writings are a trove of information, written with disarming candor and spiced with lively comments not only on his subjects but on a broad range of cultural issues. Orvell's introductory texts are equally compelling."—James C. Curtis, author of Mind's Eye, Mind's Truth: FSA Photography Reconsidered

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