Cleveland

Cleveland

1980

Lee Friedlander

(American, b. 1934)

Gelatin silver print

Gift of Andrew Smith and Claire Lozier 2020.92

Location

Did you know?

The term “Rust Belt” first appeared in 1982.

Description

This 1980 photograph from Lee Friedlander’s Factory Valleys series documents the decline of America’s industrial heartland. The bleak scene provides a glimpse of Cleveland’s downtown office towers in the distance. But to arrive there, we must scramble across an inhospitable, weedy landscape littered with idled industrial structures and smokeless smokestacks. The compositional chaos of the image echoes the emotional and social disruption Friedlander felt in the region.

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