Assignment Key West: Arthur Rothstein Photographs
July 17, 2015 – November 10, 2015
Arthur Rothstein is known as one of America’s premier photojournalists. In the summer of 1935, Rothstein was only twenty years old. Despite his young age, he was sent by the Farm Security Administration (FSA) on his first professional photography assignment – he traveled the country documenting the plight of Americans trying to survive the Depression years. This appointment allowed him to travel to the Florida Keys in 1938 to document the effects of the Depression on the residents. Rothstein’s remarkable and humbling photographs of spongers, cigar makers, barbers, fishermen, residents and architecture demonstrated the frailty of communities along the island chain.
This exhibition features 35 black-and-white images taken by Rothstein during his assignment in the Florida Keys. It also includes several objects from the permanent collection of the Key West Art & Historical Society that augment the two-dimensional images. Visitors will have the opportunity to view cigar making equipment, sponging tools, fishing equipment and Depression-era ephemera to enhance their experience.
Sponsored in part by Judith and Stanley Zabar