Marion Post Wolcott

Marion Post Wolcott, Man entering theater, Belonzi, Mississippi, 1939, gelatin silver print, 11 x 14 inches, price on request

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Biographical Information

(American, 1910-1990) “As an FSA documentary photographer, I was committed to changing the attitudes of people by familiarizing America with the plight of the underprivileged, especially in rural America…  FSA photographs shocked and aroused public opinion to increase support for the New Deal policies and projects, and played an important part in the social revolution of the 1930s”

Beginning in September of 1938, Wolcott spent three and a half years photographing in New England, Kentucky, North Carolina, Florida, Louisiana and Mississippi. Unique among the Farm Security Administration (FSA) photographers, Wolcott showed the extremes of the country’s rich and poor in the late 30’s, its race relations, and the fertile land formed with government assistance, which revealed the benefits of federal subsidies.  Her work has a formal control, emotional reticence and keen wit.  Wolcott’s creativity and her unfailing perseverance resulted in striking documentary images:  farmers harvesting the tobacco fields in Lexington, KY; affluent spectators at the races in Florida; coal miners and their families throughout West Virginia and farm laborers in North Carolina and Mississippi.

Marion Post Wolcott’s FSA work has been widely collected, exhibited and published and is in the permanent collections of most major museums in the United States.

Excerpt by Linda Wolcott Moore, Marion’s daughter