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Exhibition Preview: From Riches to Rags: American Photography in the Depression

CMA's next exhibition From Riches to Rags: American Photography in the Depression opens this Sun, 8/13.

The Jazz Age gave way to the Great Depression on October 29, 1929, when the American stock market crashed. The following decade was marked by massive unemployment, deepened by a drought that created the Dust Bowl, which transformed tens of thousands of farm families into migrants. Drawing from the museum’s superb holdings of early twentieth-century photography, From Riches to Rags examines photographers’ responses to the social upheaval and economic distress that characterized American life in the 1930s.

See works from the show below, and check it out in person beginning Sun, 8/13.

 Roadside Stand, Vicinity Birmingham, Alabama, 1936. Walker Evans (American, 1903–1975). Gelatin silver print, printed later; 19 x 23.7 cm. The Cleveland Museum of Art, Wishing Well Fund, 1975.36. © Walker Evans Archive, The Metropolitan Museum of Art

Dust Storm, Cimarron County, 1936. Arthur Rothstein (American, 1915–1985). Gelatin silver print, printed c. 1936–39; 19.7 x 19.1 cm. The Cleveland Museum of Art, Norman O. Stone and Ella A. Stone Memorial Fund, 2001.91. © Arthur Rothstein, Library of Congress

Allie Mae Burroughs, Wife of a Cotton Sharecropper, Hale County, Alabama, 1936. Walker Evans (American, 1903–1975). Gelatin silver print, printed later; 23.7 x 18.4 cm. The Cleveland Museum of Art, Wishing Well Fund, 1973.120. © Walker Evans Archive, The Metropolitan Museum of Art

Agave Design I, 1920s. Imogen Cunningham (American, 1883–1976). Gelatin silver print; 34.8 x 27 cm. The Cleveland Museum of Art, The A. W. Ellenberger Sr. Endowment Fund, 1985.47. © The Imogen Cunningham Trust

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