The American Document: New Visions in Documentary Photography 1931-1976

21 March - 14 April 2018

A new exhibition at Huxley-Parlour Gallery will present over forty significant works of 20th century American documentary photography including photographs by Walker Evans, Dorothea Lange, Robert Frank, Garry Winogrand and Diane Arbus. The works in the show chart the shift from socially engaged photography to a new definition of the document.

The tradition of American documentary photography in the 20th century is marked by two significant moments. The first was the socially and politically motivated "New Deal" photography of the 1930s and 1940s, and the second developed in the 1960s and 1970s when a group of photographers shifted away from the social documentary tradition. The exhibition will use both familiar, and lesser-known photographs, to explore these markedly different approaches to the genre and to the medium of photography, as well as the shift in use of the photograph as evidence.

The exhibition includes images created under the auspices of the Farm Security Administration (FSA), commissioned by the legendary Roy Stryker in the 1930s during the Great Depression. Photographers Dorothea Lange, Arthur Rothstein and Walker Evans amongst others, employed a graphic Modernist aesthetic, inherited from painting, to frame evidence of social and economic plight throughout the US. The work of the photographers of the FSA was used to manipulate public opinion in support of New Deal relief programmes with the aim of combatting rural poverty.

In the 1960s a new kind of documentary photography emerged, representing a radical break from tradition. Photographers including Lee Friedlander, Garry Winogrand and Diane Arbus, produced a new kind of documentary photography that focused on their own personal experiences within the urban environment. Their aim was to document quotidian, commonplace life with a new kind of vision, unique to the camera.

Collectively, the photographs in The American Document illustrate the shift not only in subject matter, from rural to urban, but stylistically within the US in this period. The closely cropped, structured aesthetic of the early work on show moves towards the more informal approach of "straight photography" to represent a seismic shift in the history of the documentary genre.

Freddie Kafer, Sacramento, California, May 1915 by LEWIS HINE (1874-1940) - photograph for sale from Beetles & Huxley

Freddie Kafer, Sacramento, California, May 1915

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National Child Labour Committee, c. 1908 by LEWIS HINE (1874-1940) - photograph for sale from Beetles & Huxley

National Child Labour Committee, c. 1908

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Migratory Cotton Picker, Eloy, Arizona, 1934 by DOROTHEA LANGE (1895-1965) - photograph for sale from Beetles & Huxley

Migratory Cotton Picker, Eloy, Arizona, 1934

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Westchester, New York, Farmhouse, 1931 by WALKER EVANS (1903-1975) - photograph for sale from Beetles & Huxley

Westchester, New York, Farmhouse, 1931

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Mended Stockings, San Francisco, 1934 by DOROTHEA LANGE (1895-1965) - photograph for sale from Beetles & Huxley

Mended Stockings, San Francisco, 1934

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Unemployed Field Labourer, Coachella Valley, California, 1935 by DOROTHEA LANGE (1895-1965) - photograph for sale from Beetles & Huxley

Unemployed Field Labourer, Coachella Valley, California, 1935

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Outdoor Advertising Sign Near Baton Rouge, Louisiana, 1935 by WALKER EVANS (1903-1975) - photograph for sale from Beetles & Huxley

Outdoor Advertising Sign Near Baton Rouge, Louisiana, 1935

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Dust Storm, Cimarron County, Oklahoma, 1936 by ARTHUR ROTHSTEIN (1915-1985) - photograph for sale from Beetles & Huxley

Dust Storm, Cimarron County, Oklahoma, 1936

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Penny Picture Display, Savannah, 1936 by WALKER EVANS (1903-1975) - photograph for sale from Beetles & Huxley

Penny Picture Display, Savannah, 1936

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Allie Mae Burroughs, Alabama Tenant Farmer's Wife, 1936 by WALKER EVANS (1903-1975) - photograph for sale from Beetles & Huxley

Allie Mae Burroughs, Alabama Tenant Farmer's Wife, 1936

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Construction Worker, Louisiana, 1936 by WALKER EVANS (1903-1975) - photograph for sale from Beetles & Huxley

Construction Worker, Louisiana, 1936

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Migrant Mother, Nipomo, California, 1936 by DOROTHEA LANGE (1895-1965) - photograph for sale from Beetles & Huxley

Migrant Mother, Nipomo, California, 1936

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Migrant Vegetable Pickers Waiting in Line to be Paid Near Homestead, Florida, 1939 by MARION POST WOLCOTT (1910-1990) - photograph for sale from Beetles & Huxley

Migrant Vegetable Pickers Waiting in Line to be Paid Near Homestead, Florida, 1939

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Arkansas Family, Seven Months in California, February 1936 by DOROTHEA LANGE (1895-1965) - photograph for sale from Beetles & Huxley

Arkansas Family, Seven Months in California, February 1936

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Day Care Centre Hot Lunch, in New Community Centre, Osceola Labour Camp, FSA Homestead Project, Belle Glade, Florida, 1939 by MARION POST WOLCOTT (1910-1990) - photograph for sale from Beetles & Huxley

Day Care Centre Hot Lunch, in New Community Centre, Osceola Labour Camp, FSA Homestead Project, Belle Glade, Florida, 1939

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From Texas Farmer to Migratory Worker, Kern County, California, November 1938 by DOROTHEA LANGE (1895-1965) - photograph for sale from Beetles & Huxley

From Texas Farmer to Migratory Worker, Kern County, California, November 1938

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Funeral Cortege, End of an Era in a Small Valley Town, California, 1938 by DOROTHEA LANGE (1895-1965) - photograph for sale from Beetles & Huxley

Funeral Cortege, End of an Era in a Small Valley Town, California, 1938

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Untitled (Road), 1930s by DOROTHEA LANGE (1895-1965) - photograph for sale from Beetles & Huxley

Untitled (Road), 1930s

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Untitled (Women Talking), 1930s by WALKER EVANS (1903-1975) - photograph for sale from Beetles & Huxley

Untitled (Women Talking), 1930s

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Pahokee 'Hotel', Pahokee, Florida, 1941 by MARION POST WOLCOTT (1910-1990) - photograph for sale from Beetles & Huxley

Pahokee 'Hotel', Pahokee, Florida, 1941

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Birmingham, Alabama, c. 1940 by ARTHUR ROTHSTEIN (1915-1985) - photograph for sale from Beetles & Huxley

Birmingham, Alabama, c. 1940

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Cafe, Beaufort, South Carolina, 1955 by ROBERT FRANK (Born 1924) - photograph for sale from Beetles & Huxley

Cafe, Beaufort, South Carolina, 1955

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Galax, Virginia, 1962 by LEE FRIEDLANDER (Born 1934) - photograph for sale from Beetles & Huxley

Galax, Virginia, 1962

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Coney Island #1, New York, 1960 by DIANE ARBUS (1923-1971) - photograph for sale from Beetles & Huxley

Coney Island #1, New York, 1960

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Cincinnati, Ohio, 1963 by LEE FRIEDLANDER (Born 1934) - photograph for sale from Beetles & Huxley

Cincinnati, Ohio, 1963

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Street Corner Evangelist 'Rosie' Preaching at Broadway & 45th Street, New York City, 1966 by GARRY WINOGRAND (1928-1984) - photograph for sale from Beetles & Huxley

Street Corner Evangelist 'Rosie' Preaching at Broadway & 45th Street, New York City, 1966

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Nanny Irma Felber with her Charge in Central Park, New York City, 1966 by GARRY WINOGRAND (1928-1984) - photograph for sale from Beetles & Huxley

Nanny Irma Felber with her Charge in Central Park, New York City, 1966

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Women Attending a Wednesday Matinee on Broadway, New York City, 1966 by GARRY WINOGRAND (1928-1984) - photograph for sale from Beetles & Huxley

Women Attending a Wednesday Matinee on Broadway, New York City, 1966

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New York City, 1965 by LEE FRIEDLANDER (Born 1934) - photograph for sale from Beetles & Huxley

New York City, 1965

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New York City, 1963 by LEE FRIEDLANDER (Born 1934) - photograph for sale from Beetles & Huxley

New York City, 1963

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New York City, 1963 by LEE FRIEDLANDER (Born 1934) - photograph for sale from Beetles & Huxley

New York City, 1963

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New York City, 1964 by LEE FRIEDLANDER (Born 1934) - photograph for sale from Beetles & Huxley

New York City, 1964

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Untitled (14), c. 1970 by DIANE ARBUS (1923-1971) - photograph for sale from Beetles & Huxley

Untitled (14), c. 1970

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Untitled (10), c. 1970 by DIANE ARBUS (1923-1971) - photograph for sale from Beetles & Huxley

Untitled (10), c. 1970

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A House on a Hill, Hollywood, California, 1963 by DIANE ARBUS (1923-1971) - photograph for sale from Beetles & Huxley

A House on a Hill, Hollywood, California, 1963

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Masked Woman in a Wheelchair, Pennsylvania, 1970 by DIANE ARBUS (1923-1971) - photograph for sale from Beetles & Huxley

Masked Woman in a Wheelchair, Pennsylvania, 1970

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A Family on Their Lawn One Sunday in Westchester, New York, 1968 by DIANE ARBUS (1923-1971) - photograph for sale from Beetles & Huxley

A Family on Their Lawn One Sunday in Westchester, New York, 1968

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Kansas City, Missouri, 1965 by LEE FRIEDLANDER (Born 1934) - photograph for sale from Beetles & Huxley

Kansas City, Missouri, 1965

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New York City, 1966 by LEE FRIEDLANDER (Born 1934) - photograph for sale from Beetles & Huxley

New York City, 1966

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New York City, 1968 by LEE FRIEDLANDER (Born 1934) - photograph for sale from Beetles & Huxley

New York City, 1968

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Hillcrest, New York, 1970 by LEE FRIEDLANDER (Born 1934) - photograph for sale from Beetles & Huxley

Hillcrest, New York, 1970

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Butte, Montana, 1970 by LEE FRIEDLANDER (Born 1934) - photograph for sale from Beetles & Huxley

Butte, Montana, 1970

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Hollywood, California, 1970 by LEE FRIEDLANDER (Born 1934) - photograph for sale from Beetles & Huxley

Hollywood, California, 1970

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San Diego, California, 1970 by LEE FRIEDLANDER (Born 1934) - photograph for sale from Beetles & Huxley

San Diego, California, 1970

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New York City, 1974 by LEE FRIEDLANDER (Born 1934) - photograph for sale from Beetles & Huxley

New York City, 1974

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Knoxville, Tennessee, 1971 by LEE FRIEDLANDER (Born 1934) - photograph for sale from Beetles & Huxley

Knoxville, Tennessee, 1971

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Statue, New Jersey, 1971 by LEE FRIEDLANDER (Born 1934) - photograph for sale from Beetles & Huxley

Statue, New Jersey, 1971

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Cactus, Brooklyn Botanical Garden, 1973 by LEE FRIEDLANDER (Born 1934) - photograph for sale from Beetles & Huxley

Cactus, Brooklyn Botanical Garden, 1973

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Chicago, 1972 by LEE FRIEDLANDER (Born 1934) - photograph for sale from Beetles & Huxley

Chicago, 1972

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Untitled, 1976 by GARRY WINOGRAND (1928-1984) - photograph for sale from Beetles & Huxley

Untitled, 1976

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Gold Corner, New York City, 1974 by JOEL MEYEROWITZ (Born 1938) - photograph for sale from Beetles & Huxley

Gold Corner, New York City, 1974

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New York City, 1975 by JOEL MEYEROWITZ (Born 1938) - photograph for sale from Beetles & Huxley

New York City, 1975

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New York City, 1976 by JOEL MEYEROWITZ (Born 1938) - photograph for sale from Beetles & Huxley

New York City, 1976

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