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Maker(s):Rothstein, Arthur
Culture:American (1915-1985)
Title:Girl at Gee's Bend, Gee's Bend, Alabama (Artelia Bendolph)
Date Made:1937 negative
Materials:Gelatin silver print
Place Made:North America; United States
Measurements:Mat: 16 in x 20 in; 40.6 cm x 50.8 cm; Sheet: 10 15/16 in x 14 in; 27.8 cm x 35.6 cm; Image: 8 15/16 in x 12 in; 22.7 cm x 30.5 cm
Narrative Inscription:  MONOGRAM: vers ctr (stamp and black ink): PHOTOGRAPH BY / ARTHUR ROTHSTEIN; INSCRIPTION: verso, lwr r. (stamp and black ink): ARTHUR ROTHSTEIN / PHOTOGRAPH / from the collection of / GRACE ROTHSTEIN; TITLE: verso, lwr ctr. (graphite): Gee's Bend, Alabama - 1937; INSCRIPTION: verso, lwr l (graphite): G28-38 (18.083); INSCRIPTION: verso, lwr ctr (graphite): OK / RS; inscription: verso, upp r (graphite) ST 1679; INSCRIPTION: verso, lwr r. (graphite): O 713
Accession Number:  MH 2014.14.4
Credit Line:Purchase with funds from Julie Herzig Desnick (Class of 1973)
Museum Collection:  Mount Holyoke College Art Museum

Photograph of young girl looking out of the open window of a log cabin.

Label Text:
As a young photographer working for the Farm Security Administration (FSA), Arthur Rothstein captured this now iconic image of Artelia Bendolph in the remote Alabama hamlet of Gee’s Bend. Although assigned to document the extreme poverty of slave descendants who still worked for white landowners, Rothstein resists the familiar images of laborers in the fields. In this case, he records the portrait of a ten-year old girl, serious yet defiantly elegant in her pose and strikingly framed by the window of a log cabin. In response to these photographs, the community of Gee’s Bend received significant New Deal legislative aid from the Roosevelt administration.

-Ellen Alvord, Weatherbie Curator of Education and Academic Programs, Mount Holyoke College Art Museum (Sept. 2016)

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