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The University of Texas at Austin

Exhibits

Russell Lee Photograph Collection - Excerpt from Introduction - Page 3

Excerpt from "There Was A Job To Do" The Photographic Career of Russell Lee by J. B. Colson

Women shopping in a dry-goods store. Lee found rich social and economic information in shopping. 1935-1936.

Women shopping in a dry-goods store. Lee found rich social and economic information in shopping. 1935-1936.

Harvesting cornstalks with horse team and wagon.

Harvesting cornstalks with horse team and wagon. That large farms in Illinois provided the income for Lee's trust may have motivated his interest in such scenes. As with shopping. Lee photographed similar activity in Italy twenty-five years later. 1935–1936.

working for the FSA was a grueling experience for any photographer, it provided a rare opportunity as well. With a constant stream of varied assignments, Lee traveled through nearly thirty states and shot tens of

thousands of photographs. His photography was informed by research—some from Stryker, some from his own studies—and from what he and Jean learned in the field. The work was directed by the Historical

Section's role of proving the need for government programs and then documenting their success. This purpose later evolved into the more comprehensive charge of recording the American experience.