Sunday, May 07, 2006

Jack Delano

Among the largely-unknown color photography done by some of the lesser-known Farm Security Administration (FSA) photographers, the work of Jack Delano is striking, and deserves to be known more widely. (See the Variable Focus blog entries for March 18, April 26, and April 27 for background information about the color photos in the FSA archives.)

A native of Kiev, Russia, Delano emigrated to the United States in 1923. He was an art student, primarily an illustrator, before he bought a camera and began making documentary photographs of Pennsylvania coal region. In 1940, with the assistance of Marion Post Wolcott, he persuaded FSA director Roy Stryker to hire him for the sum of $2,300 per year. During World War II he worked as a military photographer. After the war, he moved to Puerto Rico, which he had visited in 1941. He lived there for the rest of his life, also working as a children's books illustrator, musical composer, and film director.

Examples of Jack Delano's photographs from the FSA archives:


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