Friday, February 13, 2009

Marion Post Wolcott Photo

A mountain woman

Mountain woman by her home up Stinking Creek,
Pine Mountain, Kentucky, August 1940
FSA photo by Marion Post Wolcott.

I came across this photo tonight as I was wandering through the Farm Security Administration (FSA) photos on the Library of Congress website.

I think this woman is young, even though she's wrinkled. She looks strong and tough, but overworked and weary. She's curious and obliging, and yet her eyes are wary and a little anxious. All these contradictions make this an interesting photo.

Her three little children and the gate in front of her home can be seen in the adjacent images (here and here).

The photographer was Marion Post Wolcott (1910-1990) and this photograph is just one of hundreds she took in Kentucky as an FSA photographer.

Wolcott visited Russellville, a town about 40 miles east of Hopkinsville, where she photographed farmers on Saturday afternoon and a blacksmith shoeing a horse. However, she doesn't seem to have visited Hopkinsville. I have found no photos whatsoever of Hopkinsville in the FSA collection.

- - - - - - - - - -

5000 FSA photos by Marion Post Wolcott

Image credit: Library of Congress, Prints & Photographs Division, FSA-OWI Collection, LC-USF34-055920-E DLC


RunAwayImagination said...

Thank you for posting this great photograph together with links to the archive. I'm fascinated with old photos like this. I try to imagine what life was like in the Great Depression. That life looks so hardscrabble to my 21st century eyes, but the faces are mostly smiling. I sense that there is much we can learn from the resilience of these tough people.

Mark said...

I read your description of the woman, looked at the woman and thought, yeah, that's right. That's exactly how she looks.

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