Rare color images of the Great Depression

Our mental image of the Great Depression is in black and white.  This is partly impressionistic, because the era was so grim and gray, and partly technological, because color photography was not widely used in the 1930s and ’40s — though, as an earlier post noted, Sergei Mikhailovich Prokudin-Gorskii was photographing the Russian empire in color in the years before WWI.   But the Denver Post has published a spectacular collection of color Depression-era photographs from the Library of Congress and to see the period in color is to be caught somewhere between hardship or deprivation and an idealized Norman Rockwell mythology of sunny American small-town life.

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One Response to “Rare color images of the Great Depression”

  1. Wildermensch says:

    I’d seen the color photos of early-20th century Russia, which were a stunning and magical look into a world I’d never seen, but these color shots of a world I thought I’d seen (if only through B&W photos) are even more mind-blowing. Some of them look almost staged by modern actors. Can the past look so real to the present? Of course, but seeing is certainly believing. Amazing.

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