FSA-OWI: John Collier

Developer: Marc Rochkind

Current Version: 1.01

Last Updated: 4 years ago

Download Size: 2.6 MB - Download


This app shows over 5,000 photographs taken by John Collier Jr. for the Farm Security Administration (FSA) and the Office of War Information (OWI) from 1941 to 1943.

An internet connection is required. You can view the photos in a grid, with the complete Library of Congress captions; one-by-one; or as a slideshow. You can also browse to the Library of Congress page for each photo and order prints, at very reasonable prices.

Collier was born in 1913, the son of John Collier Sr., who served as Commissioner of Indian Affairs from 1933 to 1945. The family spent much time in the Taos, New Mexico, area, and Collier Jr. made his home there in the 1930s. (About a thousand of the photos here were taken in New Mexico.) He was introduced to photography by Dorothea Lange when he, as a teenager, was apprenticed to her husband, painter Maynard Dixon. Collier also spent time with noted photographer Paul Strand in New Mexico in the 1930s, and set up his first studio in Strand's old darkroom in Taos.

Collier's photos are mostly of people, which accords with his lifelong interest in the use of photography in anthropology. He's the author of a classic text, Visual Anthropology: Photography as a Research Method (1967). He died in San Jose, Costa Rica, in 1992 while on vacation.

I've arranged the photos here by location, except for a group I call Farm Advice that contains photos made into posters, and a Miscellaneous group. Most of the photos are smaller than the iPad screen, but still large enough to enjoy and study. About 100 of them are larger, so I've repeated them in the Large Photos group so you can view just them if you want.

Here are the groups:

Alabama - Coffee County (77 images)
Alabama - Selma (54 images)
Alabama - Other (93 images)
California (56 images)
Connecticut (176 images)
Florida (100 images)
Maine - Aroostook County (137 images)
Maine - Bar Harbor (234 images)
Maine - Fort Kent (96 images)
Maine - Pulpwood Drive (163 images)
Maine - Other (55 images)
Maryland - Charles County (65 images)
Maryland - Dorchester County (34 images)
Maryland - Middle River (101 images)
Maryland - Saint Mary's County (72 images)
Maryland - Univ. of Md. (14 images)
Maryland - Other (78 images)
Massachusetts - Cape Cod (59 images)
Massachusetts - Holyoke (28 images)
Massachusetts - Mohawk Trail (38 images)
Massachusetts - New Bedford (81 images)
Massachusetts - Provincetown (121 images)
Massachusetts - Other (50 images)
New Hampshire (117 images)
New Jersey - Seabrook Farm (129 images)
New Jersey - Other (175 images)
New Mexico - Albuquerque (49 images)
New Mexico - Moreno Valley (178 images)
New Mexico - Ojo Sarco (51 images)
New Mexico - Penasco (296 images)
New Mexico - Questa (61 images)
New Mexico - Santa Fe (17 images)
New Mexico - Ranchos de Taos (213 images)
New Mexico - Trampas (190 images)
New Mexico - Other (94 images)
New York - Amsterdam (38 images)
New York - Batavia (63 images)
New York - Little Falls (36 images)
New York - New York City (17 images)
New York - Oswego (30 images)
New York - Other (192 images)
Pennsylvania - Pittsburgh (275 images)
Pennsylvania - Other (155 images)
Vermont (8 images)
Virginia - Charlottesville (76 images)
Virginia - Other (109 images)
Washington - Auto Repair (51 images)
Washington - Greyhound Bus (42 images)
Washington - Jewel Mazique (53 images)
Washington - Office Space (64 images)
Washington - Other (181 images)
West Virginia - Richwood (132 images)
West Virginia - Other (45 images)
Farm Advice (33 images)
Miscellaneous (54 images)
Large Photos (116 images)


Release Notes:

Updated for OS X Lion.