Jeanine Butler, Executive Producer / Writer
The Center for Documentary Studies at Duke University
A fifteen minute retrospective to accompany Center for Documentary Studies exhibition on the work of F.S.A. photographer Louise Rosskam (1910–2003) is one of the elusive pioneers of what some have called the golden age of documentary photography, whose strong work helped to shape the documentary aesthetic from the 1930s through the 1950s via its publication in widely circulated newspapers, magazines, and books. Working for more than three decades in collaboration with her husband, Edwin (1903–1985), she photographed for the Farm Security Administration, the Office of War Information, the Standard Oil Company of New Jersey, the Puerto Rico Office of Information, and the New Jersey Department of Education. Few of her images bear individual credit — she has explained that at the time the teamwork and the greater social purpose of the camera projects were always paramount.
A Life in Photography is the first contextual exhibition to feature this gifted photographer’s contributions to the larger field of social reform photography.