Marion Post Wolcott Photographs Showcases Photography

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Marion Post Wolcott Photographs Showcases Photography
Marion Post Wolcott, Business managers of plantations paying off cotton pickers on Saturday in plantation store. Mileston, Mississippi Delta, 1939, printed later, Gelatin silver print, Library of Congress No. 052908-D, Loan from the Halsted Gallery, Bloomfield Hills, Michigan.

EAST LANSING, MI.- The Art Museum at Michigan State University will exhibit Marion Post Wolcott Photographs from October 20 through December 14, 2007. An opening reception, hosted by Friends of the Art Museum, will be held 3-5 p.m. on Sunday, October 21. This reception is free and the public is encouraged to attend. A gallery walk through the exhibit, led by Adjunct Curator of Photography Howard Bossen, will be held at 3:30 p.m.

Marion Post Wolcott (1910-1990) worked as a photographer for the Farm Security Administration, 1938-1941, documenting New England as well as the south. Over 50 vintage prints provide a photographic record of daily life of the poor and wealthy, and racial discrimination, and reflect her political awareness and concern for social inequality. Post Wolcott was a contemporary of Dorothea Lange and Walker Evans, who were among her peers. This particular exhibition offers an opportunity to compare the printing that Post Wolcott did throughout her career – to discern her photographic technique by comparing vintage prints with those she printed later.

Originally trained as a teacher, Wolcott worked in a small Massachusetts town where she witnessed the reality of the Depression. She joined her sister in Vienna in 1932 and started photographing but after witnessing the rise of the Nazis, she returned to America and became politically active. At the Art Students League she met Paul Strand and Ralph Steiner who encouraged her and provided references that led to employment by the Farm Security Administration and the creation of an iconic body of works that show a deep sensitivity to the downtrodden. After her marriage in 1941, Wolcott’s career as a professional photographer came to an end.

This exhibition is part of the year-long series of exhibitions and programs at MSU celebrating the 75th anniversary of the New Deal. Related programming includes a WPA walking tour on Sunday, November 4, at 1 p.m. (see below for details), as well as a Brown Bag talk by Bossen entitled “Poverty and Wealth in Black and White: Marion Post Wolcott, FSA Photographer.” This talk will be given at the Art Museum at 12:15 p.m. on Monday, November 12, and is presented by “Our Daily Work/Our Daily Lives,” a joint project of the School of Labor & Industrial Relations and the MSU Museum.

The Art Museum at MSU is located in Kresge Art Center, at the intersection of Physics and Auditorium Roads between the Alumni Chapel and the MSU Auditorium on the campus of Michigan State University in East Lansing, MI. Museum hours are Monday through Friday, 10 to 5 p.m., Thursday until 8 p.m., Saturday and Sunday, noon to 5 p.m. For additional information, call (517) 355-7631 or visit

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