|Rehabilitation client at spinning wheel, Ozark Mountains, Arkansas 1935 Photo Arthur Rothstein|
The above photograph was taken by one of the premiere photo journalists Arthur Rothstein. This photograph of the Great Walking Wheel I especially loved as I recently had the great fortune to purchase one of these magnificent antique spinning wheels. I don't know the history of my particular wheel, but if it could talk I know it would tell a compelling historical story.
Arthur Rothstein was in the same company of photographers such a Walker Evans, who co-wrote the book with James Agee Let Us Now Praise Famous Men, in 1936. Working for the Farm Security Administration (FSA) between 1935-1940, during The Great Depression, these photo journalists reflected the culture of the time within America, documenting rural life and small town America. This documentation poignantly reflected the displacement and migration of farmers and industrial workers . Even more importantly was, what Arthur Rothstein described as his prime motivation to be documentary photographer.
“the power to move men’s minds,” and explaining, “The aim is to move people to action, to change or prevent a situation because it may be wrong or damaging, and to support and encourage people.”
Born in 1915 Arthur Rothstein grew up in the Bronz of New York City. He was the son of Jewish immigrants, Isadore Rothstein and Nettie Rothstein (née Perlstein) who fled the Nazis during World War 11. Arthur Rothstein died in 1985.
Until today I'd never heard the name Arthur Rothstein. His daughter Ann Segan gave an interview today about recently discovered photographs taken by her father, when he was assigned to work in China, and that were presumed lost for 25 years. This collection of photographs were discovered with the assistance from a very unlikely source.
|Arthur Rothstein in China|