Roosevelt tapped a former Columbia University economics professor, Rexford G. Tugwell, to lead the RA’s efforts. In turn, Tugwell appointed one of his former students to head the RA’s historical section. That former student was named Roy Stryker, and the task given to him was to form a team of photographers who would document hardships nationwide, particularly across the Midwest and in California.
In 1942, six months after the bombing of Pearl Harbor, Roosevelt created the OWI. While the FSA was created to depict the hardships that farmers were facing, the OWI’s mission was to foster patriotism as the nation mobilized for war during World War II. In that vein, it served as a government propaganda arm. The majority of the photos that the FSA and the OWI produced were black and white and are those that people are more familiar with. The color photos shown here are far less frequently seen.
In Sight is The Washington Post’s photography blog for visual narrative. This platform showcases compelling and diverse imagery from staff and freelance photographers, news agencies and archives. If you are interested in submitting a story to In Sight, please complete this form.
More on In Sight: