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FIELDS OF LABOR AND RECOVERY

A Photographic Portrait of Utah from the Great Depression to WWII, 1936-1942



July 2 – November 20, 2021



Step back in time to the Utah of a bygone era.

During the heart of the Great Depression, five of America’s most talented photographers came to Utah. During the next six years, they captured the shattered remnants of local farming and mining industries and the stalwart resolve of the people who bravely endured these grueling times. In Fields of Labor and Recovery, experience the powerful artistry of master photographers Dorothea Lange, Russell Lee, Arthur Rothstein, Andreas Feininger, and John Vachon as they document the lives of Carbon County miners, Cache Valley farmers, children at play, and worshippers expressing their faith. These photographs will help you connect with the heritage of the land around you and the generations who came before.

See the photos for yourself in the Lower Level of the MOA or explore our virtual galleries of each of the five artists below.

PHOTOGRAPHY OF DOROTHEA LANGE (1895-1965):

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On March 27, 1936, Lange photographed a miner on his way to or from the mine, his shiny lunch pail gleaming against the blackened railroad car and layers of tattered clothing. There have been few photographers as attuned to photographing human beings as Lange. As her friend Willard Van Dyke noted, Lange’s “real interest is in human beings and her urge to photograph is aroused only when human values are concerned.” Lange’s choice of a lowered vantage point helps to elevate the lowly miner, giving him presence and strength. Moreover, with his strong, tightly set jaw and steely gaze, Lange documented an individual who was not overcome by his circumstances.
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