Oral history interview with Roy Emerson Stryker, 1963-1965
Stryker, Roy Emerson, 1893-1975
Doud, Richard Keith
Lee, Russell Werner
Place of publication, production, or execution:
Transcript: 159 pages.
Originally recorded on 5 sound tape reels. Reformated in 2010 as 9 digital wav files. Duration is 8 hr.
Access Note / Rights:
Transcript available on the Archives of American Art website.
An interview of Roy Emerson Stryker conducted 1963-1965, by Richard Doud, for the Archives of American Art, at the artist's home, in Montrose, Colorado.
Stryker speaks of his youth; early career in ranching and social work; the origin of the photography project in the Farm Security Administration; bureaucratic problems; photography and journalism; photographers on the project; subjects' reaction to being photographed; public perception of the FSA project; Paul Vanderbilt's work with the project's photographs; ethics of the photographers and staff; interaction between the photographers and subjects; the influence of earlier documentary photographers, such as Matthew Brady and Lewis Hine; political and media problems with the project; use of the photographs as a force in social change; and other issues surrounding the FSA photography project. He recalls Jack Delano, John Vachon, Edwin Rosskam, Arthur Rothstein, Rexford Tugwell, John Collier, Walker Evans, Dorothea Lange, Russell Lee, Carl Mydans, Ben Shahn, and Marion Post Wolcott.
Quotes and excerpts must be cited as follows: Oral history interview with Roy Emerson Stryker, 1963-1965. 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.
Roy Emerson Stryker (1893-1975) was the director of the Farm Security Administration Historical Section of Washington, D.C. Under Stryker the Photographic project of the FSA documented the drought, poverty and despair of rural and urban America during the Depression.
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