University of Texas, Dolph Briscoe Center for American History

A Guide to the Russell Lee Photograph Collection



Descriptive Summary

Creator Lee, Russell, 1903-
Title LEE (RUSSELL) PHOTOGRAPH COLLECTION
Dates: 1935-1977
Abstract Documentary photographer Russell Lee, born in 1903, took his first photographs in 1935. He worked for the Farm Security Administration from 1936 to 1942 and remained active in the field of documentary photography until 1977. The collection consists primarily of Lee's work after he left the federal government in 1946. Major series include a study of Spanish-speaking people of Texas (1949-1952), the Italy portfolio (1960), documentation of the campaigns of Texas senator Ralph Yarborough, and other community activities and industrial operations, mainly in Texas and the southwest.
OCLC Record No. 38850253
Extent 3,639 photographic prints; 708 slides; 27, 047 photographic negatives; 5 color transparencies
Language English.
Repository Center for American History,The University of Texas at Austin

Biographical Note

Documentary photographer Russell Lee was born in Illinois in 1903. Trained as a chemical engineer and a painter, he took his first photographs in 1935. He worked for the Farm Security Administration from 1936 to 1942 and remained active in the field of documentary photography until 1977. Lee, who enjoyed a reputation for technical excellence and sensitivity to his subjects, moved to Austin, Texas, in 1947. Although he often traveled as a free-lance photographer and on assignment for magazines, corporations, the federal government, and the University of Texas, Austin remained his home and Texas a major focus of his work until his death in 1986. From 1965 to 1973 he taught photography at the University of Texas.


Scope and Contents

The collection consists primarily of Lee's work after he left the federal government in 1946. Major series include a study of Spanish-speaking people of Texas (1949-1952), the Italy portfolio (1960), documentation of the campaigns of Texas senator Ralph Yarborough, and other community activities and industrial operations, mainly in Texas and the southwest.


 

Arrangement

Arranged by chronology and format.

Restrictions

Access Restrictions

Access to negatives and transparencies is restricted. A portion of these negatives is stored remotely. Contact repository for retrieval from offsite storage.

Use Restrictions

Addition (AR 2002-127), consisting of annotated Farm Security Administration prints, is for research purposes only. Reproductions and permission must be obtained from the Library of Congress.


Index Terms

Subjects (Persons)
Connally, John Bowden, 1917- --Pictorial works.
Dobie, J. Frank (James Frank), 1888-1964--Pictorial works.
Eckhardt, Bob--Pictorial works.
Faulk, John Henry--Pictorial works.
Garner, John Nance, 1868-1967--Pictorial works.
Gipson, Fred, 1908- --Pictorial works.
Gonzales, Henry B. (Henry Barbosa), 1916- --Pictorial works.
Johnson, Lady Bird, 1912- --Pictorial works.
Johnson, Lyndon B. (Lyndon Baines), 1908-1973-- Pictorial works.
Kennedy, John F. (John Fitzgerald), 1917-1963--Pictorial works.
Lee, Russell, 1903- --Photograph collections.
Ransom, Harry Huntt, 1908- --Pictorial works.
Rayburn, Sam, 1882-1961--Pictorial works.
Shivers, Allan, 1907- --Pictorial works.
Umlauf, Charles, 1911- --Pictorial works.
Yarborough, Ralph Webster, 1903- --Pictorial works.
Subjects (Organizations)
University of Texas--Pictorial works.
Places
Canada--Pictorial works.
Italy--Pictorial works.
Mexico--Pictorial works.
New York (State)--Pictorial works.
Saudi Arabia--Pictorial works.
Texas--Pictorial works.
Subjects
Airlines--Photographs.
Children--Pictorial works.
Cowboys--Pictorial works.
Electioneering--Texas--Photographs.
Fairs--Photographs.
Fishing--Photographs.
Livestock exhibitions--Texas--Photographs.
Mexican Americans--Pictorial works.
Petroleum industry and trade--Photographs.
Politicians--United States--Pictorial works.

Administrative Information

Cite as

Russell Lee Photograph Collection, 1935-1977, Center for American History, University of Texas at Austin.


Detailed Description of the Collection

 

Prints:

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3Y146 Early work of Woodstock and New York City, 1935-1936
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3Y147 Resettlement Administration:
Jersey Homesteads Project, Roosevelt, N.J., October 1936
Transylvania, 1939
Texas Ranches (for Standard Oil of New Jersey), ca. 1947-1949
Sharyland, Texas Barbecue, 1948
Stockdale, Texas watermelon festival, 1949
Wimberley, Texas deer hunt, Fall 1949
Zacatecas and Durango, Mexico, ca. 1949
Study of Spanish-Speaking People of Texas:
Corpus Christi, Texas, April 1949
San Angelo, Lampasas, Sonora, Texas, May 1949
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3Y148 San Antonio, Texas, June 1949
San Antonio and Stockdale, Texas, June 1949
El Paso, Texas, July 1949
Rockdale, Texas, August 1951
Austin (6th and Congress Streets), ca. 1951
Nova Scotia, ca. 1951-1952
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3Y149 For Fortune Magazine:
American Airlines, 1951
Dow Chemical Company, Freeport, Texas, 1952
Arkansas Power and Light Company, 1952
South America trip aboard freighter, 1953
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3Y150 South America trip aboard freighter, 1953
Austin children's concert, 1953
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3Y151 Austin children's concert, ca. 1953
Cemetery cleaning party, Smithwick, Texas, 1954
Austin Livestock show, 1954
Kid's party in restaurant, ca. 1954
Race relations meeting, University of Texas Union, 1954
Elroy, Texas political rally, June 1954
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3Y152 Ralph Yarborough gubernatorial campaign, 1954:
Women for Yarborough meeting, Austin, August 2
Lubbock, August 3
Tyler, August 4
Allan Shivers at the Texas Telegraph Centennial, Marshall, August 12
Women for Shivers meeting, Austin, August 13
Paris, Bonham, Mt. Vernon, August 14
Shivers Rally, Wooldridge Park, Austin, 1954
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3Y153 Texas Politics, 1954, for New York Times Sunday Magazine:
Yarborough in Denison, Sherman, and McKinney, July 3
Yarborough in Farmersville, Greenville, Terrell, and Kaufman, July 3
Yarborough at Driskill Hotel, Austin, July 4
Political rally, Belton, July 5
Texas State Democratic Convention, Austin, 1954
Fish fry, Buchanan Dam, Texas, March 18, 1955
Goats and Kids near Austin, March 1955
Leaners and Lookers-People in Austin, 1955
Arabian-American Oil Company, Saudi Arabia, 1955
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3Y154 Fishing trip to Lapaz, Lower California, Mexico (for Magnum Photos, Inc.), 1955
Fishing trip to Lapaz (Non-Magnum photos), 1955
Fishing on Texas Highland Lakes, 1956
Texas Fine Arts, Laguna Gloria, Austin, February 1956
Fat Stock Show, Austin, 1956
Fred Gipson's autographing party, Mason, Texas, June 30, 1956
Political candidates speak at Belton, Texas, July 4, 1956
Easter Lilies, Austin, 1956
Brazos River Authority press tour, July 1956
Travis County, Texas, Democratic convention, 1956
Skunk catching in Texas, August 1956
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3Y155 Lampasas, Texas, flood, May 1957
Democrats of Texas convention, Austin, May 1957
Austin fine arts festival, Laguna Gloria, 1957
Ralph Yarborough and John Nance Garner, Uvalde, Texas, 1957
Yarborough Senate campaign headquarters, Austin, 1957
Celebration at Yarborough Senate campaign headquarters, Austin, 1957
Barbecue at Joe Small's, ca. 1957
J. Frank Dobie and others
Walter Prescott Webb
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3Y156 Fred Gipson, Tex Purvis, J. Frank Dobie and others
Blessing of the fleet, Aransas Pass, 1958
Pre-school retarded children, Austin, 1958
Children at Austin State School, 1958
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3Y157 Gonzales Warm Springs Foundation - Jerry Holloman A.F.L. official, visiting, 1958
Henry B. Gonzales gubernatorial campaign rallies, Austin, 1958
Ralph Yarborough Senate campaign, 1958
Chandler and vicinity
Victory party
Travis County Democratic convention, 1958
Johnson City Centennial, August 1958
Gillespie County Fair, August 1958
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3Y158 State Democratic Executive Committee meeting over Code of Ethics, Austin, 1958
Democrats of Texas convention, Austin, 1958
Freighter trip to Europe via Cuba, 1958-1959
Writer's Roundup, Austin, 1959
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3Y159 Texas Confederate Home, Austin, February 1959
Terrell State Hospital, March 1959
Rusk State Hospital, March 1959
Texas Cowboy Reunion, Stamford, Texas, July 2-4, 1959
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3Y160 Texas Cowboy Reunion, Stamford, July 2-4, 1959
Fishing trip to Lapaz, Mexico, October 1959
Trip to Minor James near Rockport, Texas, November 1959
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3Y161 New Orleans, November - December 1959
Italy Portfolio, 1960
Po River Valley, Modena, Lago Lagarda, Trento Province, Sienna, Florence, Bolzano, Tuscany, San Gimienano, Island of Elba, Milan, Turin
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3Y162 Bologna, Bresica, Verona, Bolzano, Elba, Turin, Bergamo, Tuscany (Province), Bosen Province Ravenna and ship channel, Italian Alps, Florence, San Donato, Corsica, Palermo, on board Italian freighter, Milan, Modena, San Gimignano, Sienna, Arco, Po River Valley, Trento
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3Y163 Melissa (Calabria), Matera and vicinity, Lucania, Potenza, near Rome, Naples, Monterotondo
Rome and vicinity, Caserta (Easter Monday)
Boat to Corsica, Naples (Mayday), Rome, Corsica
Rome (cemetery and vicinity, Boat to Corsica, Perugia and vicinity, Gubbio (Umbria) and vicinity, near Narni, north of L'Aquila, near Fougno (Umbria), near Tivoli, near Assisi (Umbria)
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3Y164 Melissa (Calabria), Matera and vicinity, Lucania, Potenza, near Crotone
Sicily:
Monreale, coast near Palermo, Palermo and vicinity, Agrigento and vicinity, interior, Caltanisetta, Piazza Armerina, Palma di Montchiaro, Catania, between Palermo and Agrigento, market in Catania or Naples, between Piazza Armerina and Catania, market at Catania
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3Y165 Democrats of Texas convention, Houston, Texas, 1960
Harris County, Texas, Legislative candidates, 1960
John F. Kennedy campaigning in Texas (for New York Times Sunday Magazine), September 1960
Bracketville hunting trip, 1960
Russians at East Texas oil field, Kilgore, Texas, November 1960
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3Y166 Maury Maverick, Jr., 1960-1961
White wing hunt, Mexico(?), ca. 1961
Harry Huntt Ransom and Joseph R. Smiley, 1961
Architectural shots of Austin, ca. 1961
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3Y167 "Looking Up," following one theme, Austin, 1961
Houston, 1962
Gulf Coast Giants of Jazz, 1962
Cypress Rifle Club annual feast, near Houston, 1962
Bob Eckhardt, 1962
Texas Southern University wins Texas Relays, ca. 1962
Close of the 58th Texas Legislature, May 24, 1963
box
3Y168 Senator Ralph Yarborough in Washington, 1963
Salute to Ralph Yarborough, Austin, October 19, 1963
Texas politics (for New York Times), November 1963
LBJ and Yarborough, January 1964
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3Y169 Ralph Yarborough filing for U.S. Senate, February 1964
Yarborough's field trips home, April 1964
Yarborough, Johnson and Humphrey arriving in Austin, August 1964
Retrospective show at the University of Texas, March 1965
The Beach, 1970-1971
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3Y170 Friday Mountain Ranch, 1966
Labrador, 1967
Claude Eatherly, June 1967
Storm offshore near Freeport, Texas, 1970; Lake City, Colorado, 1970
Bob Eckhardt, 1970
The beach, 1970-1971
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3Y171 Circus, downtown Austin, 1973
Lake City, Colorado, September 1973
Port Aransas, Texas, November 1973
London, May 1974
San Antonio and San Marcos, Texas, 1975
Kansas City, near Country Club Plaza, 1975
Montreal, Isle de Magdalen and seals, March 1976
Pocano Bay whooping crane trip, 1976
Lockhart, Texas barbeque eaters, 1976
San Antonio and Mexico City, 1976
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3Y172 University of Missouri photo workshop, October 1976
Mississippi Queen trip, April-May 1977
Mississippi bayou, undated
Marion Storms, undated
Walter Prescott Webb, undated
Helicopter roundup, undated
Darrel Royal, UT Memorial Stadium, undated
Emma Long, undated



 

Oversize Prints:

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3S218 Early work of New York City and Woodstock, New York, 1935-1936
Study of Spanish-Speaking People of Texas, 1949
Rockdale, Texas, August 1951
Austin children's concert, ca. 1953
Texas fine arts, Laguna Gloria, Austin, February 1956
Brazos River Authority press tour, July 1956
Celebration at Yarborough Senate campaign headquarters, Austin, 1957
Children at Austin State School, 1958
Gillespie County Fair, August 1958
Texas Confederate Home, Austin, February 1959
Rusk State Hospital, March 1959
Texas Cowboy Reunion, Stamford, Texas, July 2-4, 1959
Italy portfolio, 1960
"Looking Up," Austin, 1961
Texas Southern University wins Texas Relays, ca. 1962
Senator Ralph Yarborough in Washington - Senate Commerce Committee, 1963
Yarborough, Johnson and Humphrey arriving in Austin, August 1964
Storm offshore near Freeport, Texas, 1970



 

Negatives, 35mm and 120:

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AHC Early work of Woodstock and New York City, N.Y., 1935-1936
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3Y173 (09263111) 1948-1949
Study of Spanish-Speaking People of Texas, April-July 1949
1950-1952
American Airlines, 1951
Arkansas Power and Light Company, 1952
South America trip, 1953
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3Y174 Austin children's concert, ca. 1953
1954
Yarborough gubernatorial campaign, 1954
Texas State Democratic Convention, 1954
Miscellaneous, 1955
Fishing trip to Lapaz, Lower California, Mexico, 1955
box
3Y175 Arabian-American Oil Company, 1955
Miscellaneous, Austin, 1955-1956
Ohio River Valley (for Fortune magazine), June 1956
Brazos River Authority press tour, July 1956
Fred Gipson's autographing party, Mason, Texas, June 30, 1956
Belton, Texas political rally, July 4, 1956
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3Y176 Travis County Democratic convention, 1956
Skunk catching in Texas, August 1956
Austin livestock show, 1957
Democrats of Texas convention, Austin (for Magnum Photos, Inc.), May 1957
Lampasas, Texas, flood, May 1957
Miscellaneous, 1957
Yarborough Senate campaign, 1957
Barbecue at Joe Small's, ca. 1957
Miscellaneous, 1958
Austin State School, 1958
box
3Y177 Gonzales Warm Springs Foundation, 1958
Henry B. Gonzales gubernatorial campaign, Austin, 1958
Yarborough Senate campaign, 1958
Travis County Democratic convention, 1958
Johnson City Centennial, August 1958
Gillespie County Fair, August 1958
State Democratic Executive committee, 1958
Democrats of Texas convention, 1958
Freighter trip to Europe via Cuba, 1958-1959
Writers' Roundup, Austin, 1959
Texas Confederate Home, February 1959
Terrell and Rusk State Hospitals, March 1959
Texas Cowboy Reunion, Stamford, July 2-4, 1959
box
3Y178 Fishing trip to Lapaz, Mexico, October 1959
Trip to Minor James near Rockport, November 1959
New Orleans, November - December 1959
Italy Portfolio, 1960
I-1 through I-70
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3Y179 I-71 through I-90, series I through IX
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3Y180 Sicily
Democrats of Texas convention, 1960
Harris County legislative candidates, 1960
John F. Kennedy campaigning in Texas (for New York Times Sunday Magazine ) September 1960
Miscellaneous, 1960
Maury Maverick, Jr., 1960-1961
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3Y181 Miscellaneous, 1961-1962
Cypress Rifle Club annual feast, near Houston, 1962
Bob Eckhardt, 1962
Close of the 58th Texas Legislature, May 1963
Ralph Yarborough, 1963
Texas Politics (for New York Times), November 1963
Ralph Yarborough, 1964
Retrospective show at UT, March 1965
Charles Umlauf and sculptures, January 1966
Friday Mountain Ranch, 1966
Labrador, 1967
Claude Eatherly, June 1967
box
3Y182 Miscellaneous, 1970
Bob Eckhardt, 1970
The beach, 1970-1971
Miscellaneous, 1973
San Antonio Airport and Mexico City, 1976
Mississippi Queen trip, April - May 1977
Spotted Bass, Mason, Texas, undated



 

Negatives, 4 x 5:

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3Y183 (08531838) Early work of Woodstock and New York City, N.Y., 1935-1936
Stockdale, Texas watermelon festival, 1949
Study of Spanish-Speaking People of Texas, series 13918 and 13943, 1949
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3Y184 (08531838) Study of Spanish-Speaking People of Texas, series 14233 and 14646, 1949
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3Y185 (08531850) Study of Spanish-Speaking people of Texas, series 14920 1949
Rockdale, Texas, 1951
American Airlines, 1951
Dow Chemical Company, Freeport, Texas, 1952
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3Y186 (08531850) Arkansas Power and Light Company, 1952
Austin children's concert, ca. 1953
Arabian American Oil Company, 1955
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3Y187 (08531850) Ohio River Valley, June 1956
New Orleans, December 7, 1959
Architectural shots of Austin, ca. 1961



 

2 x 2 color slides:

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3Y188 Oaxaca, Mexico, ca. 1950
The University of Texas for The Observer (London), 1964
Miscellaneous, 1959-1976
Retrospective of Lee's work:
Early work, Farm Security Administration, Air Transport Command, Coal Mines Administration Medical Survey, Various Texas Subjects, Italy, Standard Oil of New Jersey, and other industrial photography



 

Manuscript and printed material:

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3F164 Study of Spanish-Speaking People of Texas, 1948-1950
Study proposal
Work notes
Arkansas Power and Light Company, correspondence, 1952-1953
Ralph Yarborough gubernatorial campaign, work notes, 1954
Texas Politics for New York Times Sunday Magazine, work notes, July 1954
Fishing trip to La Paz, Lower California, Mexico, work notes (for Magnum Photos, Inc.), 1955
Lampasas, Texas flood, description (for Magnum Photos Inc.), May 1957
Texas Cowboy Reunion, Stamford, Texas, July 2-4, 1959: work notes, caption, correspondence, brochure
New Orleans, November and December 1959: work notes and captions
Italy, 1960, work notes
Captions to "Image of Italy" in Texas Quarterly
John F. Kennedy presidential campaign in Texas, for New York Times Sunday Magazine, work notes, September 1960
Russians at East Texas oil field, Kilgore, Texas, November 1960, work notes
Ralph Yarborough, correspondence, 1961, 1963
Chihuahua al Pacifico Railroad, Mexico: correspondence, drafts of Maury Maverick's story, work notes, 1962-1963
"The Super University of Texas" in The Observer, correspondence, 1964-1965
University of Missouri photo workshop, newsletters and brochures October 1976
Photography instructions, undated
Correspondence to Jean Lee from the Southern Conference for Human Welfare, 1947
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3F165 Publications in which Lee's work appears:
Texas Federationist, May 1957
Water for Tomorrow For You in the Brazos Valley, ca. 1957
State-wide Meeting, Democrats of Texas, 1957
Yarborough: Portrait of a Steadfast Democrat and Yarborough Portrait of a People's Senator, 1957
The Reporter, January 22, 1959
Brighter Futures for the Disabled, ca. 1960
The Price of Agony, 1961
Austin on the Go, May 1961
Texas Quarterly special issue: "Image of Italy" (annotated), Summer 1961
The Texas Observer: February 28, 1959; March 28, 1959; January 24, 1963; May 30, 1963; November 1, 1963; July 26, 1963; April 17, 1964
Alcalde: May 1962; April 1963; April and November 1964
Pemberton Press flyer for A Portrait of Pancho, ca. 1965
"The Super University of Texas," The Observer, February 14, 1965
Austin American-Statesman, March 23, 1958
Washington Post, March 3, 1963
"Russell Lee: Artist With a Camera" and "Russell Lee: Teacher of Photography," Southwestern Art, March 1968
Houston Chronicle Texas Magazine, May 16, 1965; June 25, 1967
Clippings and Reviews, ca. 1961-1971



 

Oversize Printed Material:

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2.325/V18 Yarborough Senate campaign newspaper ad proof sheets, 1958
IPS advanced proof picture stories: New Orleans and Texas Cowboy Reunion, 1959-1960
IPS "Pix on File" flyer, August 1, 1960



 

Addition [AR 2002-127]:

Scope and Contents
Annotated prints from a book project Mr. Lee presented to the University of Texas Press prior to his death in 1986. These prints, in various sizes ranging from 8"x10" to 16"x20", are all from the work he did for the Farm Security Administration. They are of Texas subjects and date from 1939 or 1940.
Use Restrictions
For research purposes only-reproductions and permission must be obtained from the Library of Congress.
Preferred Citation
Obtain proper citation from the Library of Congress.
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3So18a Annotated Farm Security Administration prints