Gee’s Bend Photographs

Back in the 1970s, the B’ham Public Library secured a grant and hired John Reese to go to Gee’s Bend and photograph the people there, just as Arthur Rothstein had done for the FSA back in the 1930s. This is one of Arthur Rothstein’s pics, below:

Credit: Library of Congress, Prints & Photographs Division, FSA-OWI Collection, 8b35946r

The FSA’s photographs taken by Arthur Rothstein aren’t under copyright (which is how they’re available to be published, like above) but the ones that John Reese took for the library are under copyright, under Title 17 – except for private use. A catalog of those images can be viewed here though.

My favorite of John Reese’s photographs has to be this one on baptism day and this one of Lucy Pettway looking to be making a rag rug. The nice thing about John Reese’s photographs is that they are now, as of September, on exhibit back in Gee’s Bend at the Old Boykin Elementary School. Kathryn Tucker Windham talks about John Reese and the photographs here.

Yvonne Wells is not one of the Gee’s Bend quilters – she’s from Tuscaloosa – but there’s an MP3 of a recent interview with her about some of her story quilts here.

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