Please note that the poems and essays on this site are copyright and may not be reproduced without the author's permission.


Friday, 11 February 2011

Carl Mydans: Unknowable Communities


.

http://lcweb2.loc.gov/service/pnp/fsa/8a01000/8a01200/8a01214v.jpg

On the road from Manville to Bound Brook, New Jersey: photo by Carl Mydans, February 1936

http://lcweb2.loc.gov/service/pnp/fsa/8b26000/8b26900/8b26919v.jpg

Series of identical houses, Manville, New Jersey: photo by Carl Mydans, February 1936

http://lcweb2.loc.gov/service/pnp/fsa/8e07000/8e07300/8e07319v.jpg

Cincinnati, Ohio: photo by Carl Mydans, December 1935 (US Resettlement Administration)

http://lcweb2.loc.gov/service/pnp/fsa/8a00000/8a00700/8a00734v.jpg

Typical wood frame house, Hamilton County, Ohio: photo by Carl Mydans, December 1935 (US Resettlement Administration)

http://lcweb2.loc.gov/service/pnp/fsa/8a00000/8a00600/8a00687v.jpg

"Blight house", Hamilton County, Ohio: photo by Carl Mydans, December 1935 (US Resettlement Administration)

http://lcweb2.loc.gov/service/pnp/fsa/8b28000/8b28600/8b28651v.jpg

Junk, with living quarters close by, Milwaukee, Wisconsin: photo by Carl Mydans, April 1936

http://lcweb2.loc.gov/service/pnp/fsa/8b28000/8b28600/8b28650v.jpg

View from living quarters at 730 West Winnebago Street, looking toward alley, Milwaukee, Wisconsin: photo by Carl Mydans, April 1936

http://lcweb2.loc.gov/service/pnp/fsa/8b28000/8b28600/8b28645v.jpg

Group of houses at Detroit and Van Buren Streets, near electric railroad, Milwaukee, Wisconsin: photo by Carl Mydans, April 1936

http://lcweb2.loc.gov/service/pnp/cph/3c20000/3c29000/3c29100/3c29116v.jpg

Slums, Milwaukee, Wisconsin: photo by Carl Mydans, April 1936

http://lcweb2.loc.gov/service/pnp/fsa/8a00000/8a00600/8a00672v.jpg

House exterior on Van Horn Street, Hamilton County, Ohio: photo by Carl Mydans, December 1935 (US Resettlement Administration)

http://lcweb2.loc.gov/service/pnp/fsa/8a00000/8a00600/8a00673v.jpg

House exterior on Van Horn Street, Hamilton County, Ohio: photo by Carl Mydans, December 1935 (US Resettlement Administration)

Photos from Farm Security Administration/Office of War Information Collection, Library of Congress

6 comments:

curtisroberts said...

I hadn't forgotten the earlier Mydans images and was drawn to read more about him, e.g., in this appreciation:

http://www.digitaljournalist.org/issue0409/halstead.html

This series is sorrowful and devastating. Considered as part of the broader canvas of his work and subject matter, Mydans is really a great, unique artist and, as they say (when they can't find the right words), "something more".

TC said...

There is as you say something unique in Mydans' vision. He was working for the Resettlement Administration as early as 1935, after which that agency was subsumed by the FSA, so his work captures an earlier moment.

And in his self-assigned investigations of "blight housing" around industrial cities, he found images of spaces that seem entirely closed off from us -- and from each other.

Bowie Hagan said...

Tom,

Of 'knowable communities"; that common ground which is, and was the ground of existence. Thanks.

Best,
Bowie

TC said...

Still looking for the lives that were lived behind those walls...

Detroit said...

The caption for this graphic is wrong, wrong, wrong...

The street there was the former 900 block of Hibernia (the short half street or named alley between Clybourn Street and St. Paul Avenue, SE of Marquette University)--now replaced by a freeway within the I-94 Marquette Interchange, AFAIK.

http://lcweb2.loc.gov/service/pnp/fsa/8b28000/8b28600/8b28645v.jpg

TC said...

Here's the link to the photo in the archive.

Group of houses at Detroit and Van Buren Streets.

Here is the Mydans caption for that shot:

Group of houses at Detroit and Van Buren Streets, near electric railroad. Milwaukee, Wisconsin. Carl Mydans, 1936 April.