The BYU Museum of Art will shortly open a new exhibition of photographs from renowned photographers Dorothea Lange, Russell Lee, John Vachon, Arthur Rothstein, and Andreas Feininger. Fields of Labor and Recovery: A Photographic Portrait of Utah from the Great Depression to WWII, 1936-1942 showcases these artists’ travels through Utah to record the activities of two New Deal organizations: the Farm Security Administration and the Office of War Information
These black-and-white photos transport viewers back to everyday lives of Utah’s residents of the era, from Carbon County miners to Cache Valley farmers, and from schoolchildren hard at work to Latter-day Saint congregations attending meetings. They portray a story of hard work, sacrifice, and perseverance during the grueling times of the Great Depression and World War II.
“I’ve been captivated by these photographs for many years,” said Dr. James Swensen, Guest Curator of the exhibition and Associate Professor of Art History. “I think they will powerfully resonate with our Utah audiences, particularly as we navigate challenging times.”
“We felt that this exhibition was a unique opportunity to see highly-acclaimed photographers working in Utah during the 1930s and 40s,” added Janalee Emmer, Director of the Museum of Art, who also served as the lead educator for the exhibition. “Many of these photographs capture familiar areas of our state; some of these landscapes still look similar today while others have changed dramatically. Visitors will enjoy seeing early school houses, chapels, and families working on the land in various capacities. Some may remember grandparents or past generations telling stories about these times.”
Fields of Labor and Recovery: A Photographic Portrait of Utah from the Great Depression to WWII, 1936-1942 will be on display on the lower level of the BYU Museum of Art from July 2 through November 20, 2021, and a digital version of the exhibition is available on the Museum’s website. For more information about the exhibition, please visit https://moa.byu.edu/fields-of-labor-and-recovery/.
ABOUT THE BYU MUSEUM OF ART
One of the largest and best-attended university art museums in the Mountain West, the BYU Museum of Art offers a dynamic exhibition schedule that includes displays of its permanent collection, world-class traveling shows and thought-provoking exhibitions organized by museum curators. One of the museum’s most important roles is its contribution to the academic mission of Brigham Young University. From the research and study of the artworks in the permanent collection, to the teaching and learning that occurs in classrooms and galleries, the museum plays an important role in the academic pursuits of many students at BYU. Concurrently, the museum seeks to connect to broad community audiences through its exhibitions, educational programming, and online outreach.
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