Archive for February 14th, 2011

February 14, 2011

valentine, in color

by Megan Abbott

In honor of the day, one of my favorite pictures from one of the most revelatory collections I’ve seen in years. Courtesy of the Library of Congress, which I found through a piece in last summer’s Denver Post.

Couples at square dance. McIntosh County, Oklahoma, 1939 or 1940, Reproduction from color slide. Photo by Russell Lee. Prints and Photographs Division, Library of Congress

Isn’t this a stunner? Don’t a 100 stories just flood from it?

In case you haven’t seen them, these images were taken by photographers of the Farm Security Administration/Office of War Information. Apparently, they are some of the only color photos documenting the impact of the Depression on rural and small town America.

It’s striking how little I/we imagine that time and place in color. Somehow the photos look so present, so vivid, so now. You can touch them. In this one, you can feel every bit of hectic energy in that room, church, school, townhall. You feel like you could reach out and touch their warm skin.

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