Hope in Hard Times
New Deal Photographs of Montana, 1936–1942
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Arthur Rothstein, Russell Lee, John Vachon, and Marion Post Wolcott became some of the United States’ best-known photographers through their pictures of Depression-era America. Taken between 1936 and 1942, their pictures of Montana captured the dignity of its people as they struggled to scratch out livings from dried-up fields, nurture families in the shadows of Butte head frames, and foster communities on the vast expanses of the northern plains. Hope in Hard Times, which features over 140 Farm Security Administration photographs, depicts the many-faceted story of the Great Depression in Montana and the experiences of the photographers who documented it. Today these striking images, from cities like Butte to small towns like Terry, present an unforgettable portrait of a little-studied period in the history of Montana.