August 19, 2009

Natalie Quinn, Student Intern

Experience the Depression through Photographs

VALDOSTA - A traveling exhibition from Franklin D. Roosevelt’s Presidential Library and Museum is making a stop at Valdosta State University from August 24 to September 11. The VSU Fine Arts Gallery invites the community to an opening reception from 7-8:30 p.m. Monday, Aug. 24, to celebrate the photographic collection of America during the Great Depression.

A panel discussion featuring various artists and professors will take place at 7 p.m. on Tuesday, Sept. 1, in Sawyer Theatre, located on the first floor of the Fine Arts Building, at the corner of Brookwood and N. Oak streets. Members of the panel include: Jamie Harmon, photographer; Dr. Jason Kassel, political science professor; Dr. Lai Orenduff, art history professor; Gardner Rogers, English lecturer; and Dr. Louis Schmier, history professor.

The collection is titled "This Great Nation Will Endure," from FDR's famous speech at the lowest point of the Great Depression when he proclaimed, “This great nation will endure as it has endured, will revive and will prosper ... the only thing we have to fear is fear itself.” The exhibit's iconic photographs were taken between 1935 and 1942 by the legendary photography unit of the Farm Security Administration, a New Deal Agency president Roosevelt created to aid struggling farm workers during the Depression. Prints showcased in the exhibit were produced in 2004 from negatives in the Library of Congress’ FSA photography collection. Photographers, such as Dorothea Lange, Gordon Parks and Ben Shahn, battled natural disasters and economic hardship to capture images of America’s endurance, hope and struggle.

The Fine Arts Gallery, located on the first floor of the Fine Arts Building, is open from 9 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. Monday through Thursday and from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. on Friday. Call Gallery Director Julie Bowland at 229-333-5835 or e-mail her at for more information or to schedule a guided tour of the exhibition.

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