Press Release: June 22, 2011
National Archives at Kansas City
Picture This! One Hundred Years of Photography from the National Archives Exhibition Opens July 2, 2011
For More Information Contact:
Dee Harris, 816-268-8086
Kansas City, (MO)…The National Archives at Kansas City will open Picture This!: One Hundred Years of Photography from the National Archives on Saturday, July 2, 2011.
Picture This! chronicles major events of the twentieth century -- immigrants arriving at Ellis Island, the Wright Brothers' first flight, construction of the Empire State Building, Depression-era soup lines, Omaha Beach, the mushroom cloud, Lyndon Johnson taking the Presidential oath, U.S. Marines in Da Nang, and footprints on the moon. Some of these images are so famous that they are seared in our collective memory and have become synonymous with the events themselves. Other photographs offer us surprise historical glimpses from the past, and still others chronicle the changing technological landscape over the century.
Drawn from the National Archives and Records Administration vast archives of more than 8 million images, Picture This!: One Hundred Years of Photography from the National Archives features color and black and white photographs celebrating 100 years of American life. The exhibition is arranged chronologically and depicts many of the momentous events of the century, as well as larger social trends. The initial section on the early twentieth century, for example, includes historic photographs of the Wright Brothers' first airplane flight, an early automobile assembly line, and immigrants arriving at Ellis Island in New York City. From the era of World War I and the 1920's come images of a Liberty Day celebration, rural life, and the construction of the Empire State Building. Views of the Great Depression and New Deal include the effect of the Dust Bowl, public works projects, and the plight of migrant workers.
World War II saw a tremendous growth in the numbers of photographs taken by the government. The exhibit features combat photography of the Normandy invasion and the war in the Pacific. Homefront images show the country's industrial mobilization. Postwar photographs illustrate the economic boom of the 1950s, the cold war, the Korean war, and the social ferment of the 1960s. The final sections of the exhibit features photographs from the collections of NARA's Presidential libraries as well as images of the Vietnam war and spaceflight photography from the National Aeronautics and Space Administration.
Also showcased in the exhibition are six portfolios of noted photographers, well represented in the holdings of the National Archives. Among their works are images so famous that they are permanently etched in our minds, while other images are little known. The portfolios are of:
- Lewis Wicks Hine (1874-1940) whose famous photographs of children became an instrument of social reform;
- George W. Ackerman (1884-1962) whose 40-year career at the Department of Agriculture yielded more than 50,000 photographs of rural America;
- Walter Lubken (1881-1960), a photographer for the U.S. Reclamation Service who documented technological and social advances in the west during the early 20th century;
- Dorothea Lange (1895-1965), a photographer for the Farm Security Administration, the Bureau of Agricultural Economics, the War Relocation Authority, the Office of War. Information, and the State Department, whose photographs became synonymous with the Great Depression;
- Charles Fenno Jacobs (1904-1975) who became part of Edward Steichen's Naval Aviation Photographic Unit in World War II that documented the aviation activities of the U.S. Navy, including female factory workers in California, and life aboard the battleship U.S.S. New Jersey; and
- Danny Lyon (1942-), one of the most creative documentary photographers of the late 20th century, photographed the Rio Grande Valley and the Chicano barrio of South El Paso, Texas, for the Environmental Protection Agency's DOCUMERICA project.
The exhibition will be available for viewing at the National Archives at Kansas City, July 2 – December 31, 2011. To schedule a group tour, call Mickey Ebert at 816-268-8013 or e-mail at email@example.com.
The National Archives at Kansas City is one of 13 facilities nationwide where the public has access to Federal archival records. It is home to more than 50,000 cubic feet of historical records dating from the 1820s to the 1990s created or received by nearly 100 Federal agencies. Serving the Central Plains Region, the archives holds records from the states of Iowa, Kansas, Minnesota, Missouri, Nebraska, North Dakota, and South Dakota. The facility is located at 400 West Pershing Road, Kansas City, MO 64108. It is open to the public Tuesday - Saturday from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. for research, with the exhibits open from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. For more information, call 816-268-8000 or visit us online.
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