Oral history interview with Arthur Rothstein, 1964 May 25
Rothstein, Arthur, 1915-1985
Doud, Richard Keith
Lee, Russell Werner
Stryker, Roy Emerson
New Deal and the Arts Oral History Project
United States.Farm Security Administration.Historical Section.Photographs
Place of publication, production, or execution:
New York (State)
Transcript: 31 pages.
Originally recorded on 1 sound tape reel. Reformated in 2010 as 2 digital wav files. Duration is 1 hr., 11 min.
Access Note / Rights:
Transcript available on the Archives of American Art website.
An interview of Arthur Rothstein conducted in New York, N.Y., 1964 May 25, by Richard Doud, for the Archives of American Art.
Rothstein speaks of the development of his interest in photography as a hobby while in pre-medical school during the Depression; meeting Roy Stryker and his early impressions of Stryker; the Resettlement Administration and its growth into the Farm Security Administration (FSA); the educational experience of working under Stryker's guidance; the influence of Ben Shahn and Walker Evans; the traveling experience and its influence on him; early assignments; developing as a photographer; documenting the Dust Bowl; the "skull" series and the controversy surrounding it; usage of the FSA works; the FSA's contribution to Rothstein's life and personal development; and going to work for LOOK magazine. He recalls Carl Mydans and Russell Lee.
Quotes and excerpts must be cited as follows: Oral history interview with Arthur Rothstein, 1964 May 25. Archives of American Art, Smithsonian Institution.
Funding for the digital preservation of this interview was provided by a grant from the Save America's Treasures Program of the National Park Service.
Arthur Rothstein (1915-1985) was a photographer from New York, N.Y.
This interview conducted as part of the Archives of American Art's New Deal and the Arts project, which includes over 400 interviews of artists, administrators, historians, and others involved with the federal government's art programs and the activities of the Farm Security Administration in the 1930s and early 1940s.
Archives of American Art, Smithsonian Institution, 750 9th St. NW, Washington, D.C. 20001