A talk on Photography and the FSA of West Virginia

Join us at the Book Beat Sunday afternoon, August 25th from 3-4 PM for a talk presented by Betty Rivard, author of New Deal Photographs of West Virginia, 1934-1943, published by the West Virginia University Press. Copies of the book will be available for purchase and signing. Book Beat is located at 26010 Greenfield in Oak Park. Please call 248-968-1190 to reserve a book or for more information.

Betty Rivard is a fine art landscape photographer and researcher from West Virginia. Betty was raised in Detroit and will be back in town while researching Detroit and Chicago based photographer Arthur Siegel. Her personal work can be seen at Betty Rivard Photography

“It is beyond the scope of this book to explore why, especially in the past fifty years, the state became a poster child for a culture of poverty. Unfortunately, the media have focused on poverty and exaggerated backwoods-type images as representative of West Virginia. These images have left terrible scars on a number of people who have grown up in the state. They also continue to bring harm through the perceptions that some outsiders have formed of the state and its citizens.”  –Betty Rivard

New Deal Photographs of West Virginia, 1934-1943 includes 150+ of the over 1600 photographs that were taken by ten professional photographers  including Walker Evans, Arthur Siegel, Ben Shahn and Marion Post Wolcott who visited the state in association with the Farm Security Administration (FSA) Project. The book builds on a number of mini-exhibits and articles, funded in part by the West Virginia Humanities Council.


Men in Sunday clothes with miners’ clubhouse in the background. Omar, West Virginia. Ben Shahn. October 1935.

Miner (Russian). Capels, West Virginia. Marion Post Wolcott. September 1938.

Coming home from school. Mining town. Osage, Scotts Run, West Virginia. Marion Post Wolcott. September 1938

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