Wednesday, January 29, 2014

the history of photography in american classrooms

       The following two groups of photographers in the United States are most frequently included in lesson plans and discussions in American art studies, art appreciation and integrated studies in history. American children should be familiar with the Depression Era photography promoted by the Farm Security Administration and the pictorialist, photographic style that dominated much of American  photography during the 20th century.

Photographers Who Worked For The Farm Security Administration U.S.A: Initially created as the Resettlement Administration (RA) in 1935 as part of the New Deal in the United States, the Farm Security Administration (FSA) was an effort during the Depression to combat American rural poverty.
      The FSA stressed "rural rehabilitation" efforts to improve the lifestyle of sharecroppers, tenants, very poor landowning farmers, and a program to purchase submarginal land owned by poor farmers and resettle them in group farms on land more suitable for efficient farming. Critics, including the Farm Bureau strongly opposed the FSA as an experiment in collectivizing agriculture — that is, in bringing farmers together to work on large government-owned farms using modern techniques under the supervision of experts. The program failed because the farmers wanted ownership; after the Conservative coalition took control of Congress it transformed the FSA into a program to help poor farmers buy land, and continues in operation in the 21st century as the Farmers Home Administration.
History lesson plans that integrate the photos taken for the national project: Wessels, Learner Resources - 1930s * The plight of white tenant farmers and sharecroppers * Teaching American History in South Carolina *
Art studies lesson plans that focus primarily on the actual photographs: The Great Depression, The New Deal and The Media * Art and Media in the Great Depression *
Lesson plans/resources about The Great Depression that may be used in the development of lessons including those photographers connected to the project: American Experience, 1930 *

Group F.64: Group f/64 was a group of seven 20th century San Francisco photographers who shared a common photographic style characterized by sharp-focused and carefully framed images seen through a particularly Western (U.S.) viewpoint. In part, they formed in opposition to the Pictorialist photographic style that had dominated much of the early 1900s, but moreover they wanted to promote a new Modernist aesthetic that was based on precisely exposed images of natural forms and found objects. Ansel Adams * Imogen Cunningham * John Paul Edwards * Sonya Noskowiak * Henry Swift * Willard Van Dyke and Edward Weston 
Artists invited to exhibit their work with Group f.64: Preston Holder * Conseuella Kanaga * Alma Lavenson * Brett Weston
Lesson plans/methods including studies in the pictorialist movement: "Frozen Lake and Cliffs" *

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