President Franklin Roosevelt initiated many New Deal programs to get people back to work during the Great Depression of the 1930s, but the Farm Security Association was one of the most unique. As the George Eastman House website notes: "The FSA in particular became a milestone in photographic history. At no other point in American history has there been a government organization publicly funding a visual documentation of American life." Photographers Dorothea Lange, Walker Evans, Ben Shahn, Marion Post Wolcott and Arthur Rothstein, hired by the FSA, are featured in a show at the Tampa Museum of Photographic Arts, 400 N Ashley Drive, Tampa, through Jan. 27. Lange's iconic Migrant Mother, above, is included. So are photographs by Lewis Hine, who began documenting the plight of Depression-era America before the FSA was even formed. But he was snubbed by the FSA, supposedly because he was too strong-willed for its leaders. Still, he was philosophically part of this group and deserves equal billing. fmopa.org or (813) 221-2222.
Lennie Bennett, Times art critic