Friday, March 5, 2010

Grahame Sydney in North Dakota

This is Abandoned Garage on Highway No. 2. Western North Dakota photographed by Russell Lee in October 1937 for the Farm Security Administration. There is a really big version at Shorpy.

Apart from the Texaco sign I’d swear that was a Grahame Sydney painting of Central Otago but he tells me – hey, investigative journalist-type blogging! – that he hasn’t seen the image before and isn’t really familiar with the FSA collection. So I guess it’s nature imitating art again, or art imitating nature imitating art, with a time-travel twist. Pre-figurative art, perhaps.

Russell Lee was on the staff of the FSA with Dorothea Lange, Ben Shahn, Walker Evans and others, documenting the plight of farmers, sharecroppers and others during the Depression. There is a collection of his images here and more information on him here.

Monitor: Mick Hartley

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