|Mr and Mrs A. B. on their Farm near Kersey, Colorado, 1939|
A farmer and his wife photographed for the Farm Security Administration by Arthur Rothstein. The purpose of the small but highly influential FSA photography program between 1935 and 1944 was to raise national awareness in the United States on the plight of the rural poor.
This couple seems immensely pleased to have been chosen to be photographed and noticeably proud of their produce, which they hold up to the camera. The fruits of their labour - a still-life of sorts adding to the success of the composition. Going from the roughness of Mr A. B.'s skin, complemented by the bark of the tree he stands against, his labour must surely be hard. Yet for this sitting he has carefully combed his hair and his wife is certainly wearing her favourite dress.
A tender image of rural domesticity, Rothstein none-the-less manages to transcend the cliche, presenting the couple in essentially human terms with honesty and integrity.