Arthur Rothstein

(1915 - 1985) American


Born in New York City in 1915, Arthur Rothstein showed an early interest in photography. While studying at Columbia University, he met economics instructor Roy Stryker, who would later establish the photographic section of the Resettlement Administration (later the Farm Security Administration) in Washington, DC. Appreciating Rothstein's technical proficiency and enthusiasm for photography, Stryker hired him in 1935 as the first staff photographer for the FSA. Praised for the directness and immediacy of his imagery, Rothstein produced notable photographic series on farming communities in the Midwestern Dust Bowl. After leaving the FSA in 1940, Rothstein took a position as photographer for Look magazine; he remained there until 1971, ultimately serving as the magazine's director of photography.
Phillips, Christopher, and Vanessa Rocco, eds. Modernist Photography: Selections from the Daniel Cowin Collection. New York: International Center of Photography and Göttingen, Germany: Steidl, 2005, p. 110.
Brannan, Beverly, and Carl Fleischhauer. Documenting America, 1935-1943. Los Angeles: University of California Press, 1988.
The Depression Years as Photographed by Arthur Rothstein. New York: Dover Publications, 1978.
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