Wk3SocialDocumentary - Running head SOCIAL DOCUMENTARY...

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Running head: SOCIAL DOCUMENTARY PHOTOGRAPHER Social Documentary Photographer Ayala Hardy Grantham University
SOCIAL DOCUMENTARY PHOTOGRAPHER I. Introduction The Great Depression brought catastrophic poverty to the United States, which caused the collapse of many industries, including the stock market and the art market (Doss, 2004). The price points for art pieces, books, and music fell drastically until the federal government stepped in. Under the leadership of President Franklin Roosevelt, the federal government began offering economic relief to many artists by becoming the artist’s employer. The Federal Arts Project (FAP) created programs such as the Works Progress Administration (WPA) and the Farm Security Administration (FSA). II. Body The FSA program was created by the Resettlement Administration, which was founded in 1935 to help support small farmers reinvest in the farmland that had been destroyed by the Great Depression. During the life of the program, the federal government employed unknown artists and made them world-renown for their works depicting emotions and circumstances that were a result of rural poverty (Weiser, 2016). According to Doss (2004), over 3,500 public murals, 108,000 paintings and 500,000 photographs were produced and funded by the FAP. The FSA program encouraged appreciation for American art. One of the primary focuses of American artists such as Arthur Rothstein was to “document the problems of the Depression so that [they] could justify the New Deal legislation that was designed to alleviate them” (Doss, 2004, p. 107).

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