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The Collegian

The Student News Site of Tarrant County College

The Collegian

The Student News Site of Tarrant County College

The Collegian

Exhibit, speakers to bring Depression to NE

By Keisha McDuffie/ne news editor

President Franklin D. Roosevelt promised in his first inaugural speech that “this great nation will endure as it has endured, will revive and will prosper.”

Roosevelt took office when the United States was suffering from extreme poverty and drought, hardships that had lasted from 1929 through most of the ’30s, a period eventually identified as the Great Depression.
That era will become more real for TCC students when a photographic exhibit visits NE Campus Feb. 1-March 9.
In 1935 as part of the New Deal, Roosevelt established the Farm Security Administration.

“The men and women photographers of FSA produced 80,000 pictures between 1935 and 1943,” Cynthia M. Koch, director of the Franklin D. Roosevelt Presidential Library and Museum, said in a promotional brochure.
According to Koch, no other era is more documented and captured through photographs than the Great Depression.

The FDR Presidential Library and Museum has handpicked 175 of those FSA images to include in an exhibition for all to experience.

Among the pieces selected for the exhibit are those by such famous photographers as Dorthea Lange and Gordon Parks. This is the largest exhibition of FSA photography in history.

This Great Nation Will Endure opened in 2004 in Hyde Park, N.Y., and is coming to NE Campus. Reproductions of the originals will be mounted in large formats and put on display in the Center Corner (NSTU 1516).

NE student development services will sponsor a gala opening Feb. 1 to present This Nation Will Endure, 6-9 p.m. in the NE Theatre and Center Corner.

The reception will be in the Theatre lobby from 6:30 to 7 p.m., followed by multiple speakers familiar with the FSA project.

At 7 p.m. all attendees will be invited to a ribbon-cutting ceremony and keynote presentation by Dr. Allen Weinstein, archivist of the United States, officially opening the exhibit.

While visiting the FDR Presidential Museum in New York, Mary Kay Buinger, NE Campus instructor of history, wondered if TCC could arrange to have some of the photos displayed on campus.

After Buinger consulted Linda Wright, NE history department chair, and Meg Hacker, Southwest Region of the National Archives in Fort Worth, Hacker contacted the FDR Library and Museum, a part of the National Archives, who decided to construct a traveling exhibit.

The exhibit consists of photos from more than 150 FSA photographers, according to the National Archives and Records Administration-Southwest Region.

The exhibit would not exist if not for the early guidance of Roy Stryker. Before accepting an offer to head the Resettlement Administration’s photographic unit, Stryker was an economics instructor at Columbia University. In 1937 when the RA merged with the FSA, Stryker instructed his team of photographers to seek out and capture scripted scenes and scenarios. He even assigned “shooting scripts.”

Stryker was responsible for the preservation of these photos, arranging before his resignation for the Library of Congress to house the photo collection.

One of the most popular FSA photographers, Dorothea Lange, left portrait studio photography to document the effects of the Depression. After clashes with Stryker and a budget cut, Lange was terminated from the FSA in 1939. Born in Hoboken, N.J., Lange went on to photograph for other publications including Life.

The exhibit will be open Monday- Friday for self-guided tours. Reservations for docent-guided tours for groups of five or more should be made at least three days in advance by contacting student services at 817-515-6644.

TCC is the first place the exhibit is to stop, continuing on to Atlanta, Boston and other cities.

“This exhibit is of national caliber, rivaling those presented at four-year institutions,” Wright said.

“We also will have various speakers familiar with the FSA project.”

The opening ceremony is the first event on a list of many that will continue throughout the exhibit. Experts on The Depression, including authors, professors and the curator of the Library of Congress, will speak, and a five-part film series will feature the era.

Dr. Michael Lesy, Hampshire College and author of Long Time Coming: A Photographic Portrait of America, 1935-1943, will speak in the NSTU Galley Feb. 9 at 11:15 a.m.

Dr. Paul Hendrickson, University of Pennsylvania and author of Bound for Glory: America in Color 1939-43, will speak in the Galley Feb. 15 at 12:30 p.m.

Bill Ganzel, photographer, Ganzel Group owner and author of Dust Bowl Descent, will speak in the Feb. 22, 12:30 p.m.

Professors Peter Hacker and Wayne Zatopek will discuss music of the Great Depression Feb. 27 at 12:30 p.m. in the NSTU Galley.

To close the lecture portion of the program, Beverly Brannan, curator of the Library of Congress and expert on photographs of the FSA, will speak in the NSTU Galley March 7, 12:30 p.m.

All films in the five-part series will show in NACB 1106 at 12:30 p.m., beginning Feb. 2 with The Grapes of Wrath.
It Happened One Night will show Feb. 16; Gold Diggers of ’33, Feb. 21; Wild River, March 2, and a Government Documentary Series will conclude the series March 5.

For more information, e-mail Wright at linda.wright@tccd.edu or call her at 817-515-6402.

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