FSA Picnic Photograph

Marion Post Wolcott 1910-1990 - Sunday school picnic brought into abandoned mining town of Jere, West Virginia by neighboring parishioners -1938 Sept. Gelatin silver print photograph - FSA (Farm Security Administration)


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FSA picnic photograph by American FSA (Farm Security Administration) photographer Marion Post Wolcott 1910-1990. This gelatin silver print photograph is titled “Sunday school picnic brought into abandoned mining town of Jere, West Virginia by neighboring parishioners” through the Farm Security Administration’s records – Office of War Information Photograph Collection (Library of Congress) and dates to the year 1938, September. Library of Congress number LC-USF33- 030223-M4 [P&P] LOT 1727. This gelatin silver print photograph by Marion Post Wolcott dates to the 1960-1970s. The photograph’s reverse is stamped “Reproduced from the Collections of the Library of Congress” with a handwritten pencil inscription on the reverse of the sheet with Marion Post Wolcott’s signature/initials, partial title, and the RA number, in pencil, on verso. “Sep 38 – Wolcott, Sunday School Picnic. Jere, W. Va.” The back of the sheet also includes various serial and catalog numbers.

This black and white photograph documents rural communities’ daily lives throughout West Virginia. Jere, where this photograph was taken, is an unincorporated community in Monongalia County, West Virginia, United States, and was the site of an abandoned mining community. This image, an image of the community and sharing under times of hardship and duress. Marion Post Wolcott and Ben Shahn were sent to West Virginia by Roy Stryker, head of the FSA photojournalist group for the FSA, to document and reinforce the new deal’s need and document the pain and economic hardship placed on the area. As such, these images and photographs have come to define the national image of West Virginia; however, beyond the suffering and hardship, this group of FSA photographs found joy, a sense of community, and the persistence of the American spirit. This photograph of a group of people enjoying a community picnic on a sunny Sunday afternoon after church, making the best of their lives under harsh conditions. This photograph was acquired through a Washington D.C. art brokerage consulting company and represents an iconic photo in history from the Library of Congress/images of the FSA photographers.


The photograph measures 8 x 10 inches. The image measures 6.5 x 9.5 inches.


The photograph displays circular edge loss to the margin edges. The photograph surface displays minor abrasions and surface imperfections with markings and pencil notations on the sheet’s reverse.

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