Arthur Rothstein, Cattle Skull, Badlands, SD, 1936.
I've just read through The Case of the Inappropriate Alarm Clock series over at the Errol Morris Blog on the NY Times. Although I knew about the dissension surrounding Arthur Rothstein's skull, one of the more famous examples of photo-trickery, Morris extends the discourse to include other renown photographers in the agency, such as Walker Evans and Dorothea Lange. He explores the notion of authenticity using the propaganda produced by the Farm Security Administration (FSA) as a springboard, as well as the still relevant controversies surrounding them. In Part One Morris briefly notes, "If one can imagine the political animosity that would have been generated if, as part of the current stimulus package, President Obama introduced a national documentary photography program, then it is possible to understand the opposition that the F.S.A. faced..." Personally, I find this point in American History the most appropriate time since the Great Depression to revisit these works and the era they reflect.
Left: Dorothea Lange, Migrant Mother, 1936; Right: Walker Evans, Allie Mae Burroughs, 1935 or 1936