A post today about Labor Day – America in Color from 1939-1943.

This online exhibition from the Library of Congress celebrates Americans at work. It features images from the Farm Security Administration/Office of War Information archives. The FSA/OWI began during the New Deal to “introduce America to Americans.”

Labor Day – America in Color Images

Labor Day - American in Color

Family on Bayou Bourbeau plantation, a FSA cooperative near Natchitoches, Louisiana, August 1940. Photo by Marion Post Wolcott.

Bound for Glory: America in Color features 70 little-known color images by photographers of FSA/OWI. Taken between 1939 and 1943, this exhibition reveals a surprisingly vibrant world that has typically been viewed only through black-and-white images.

These vivid scenes and portraits capture those years. The exhibition illustrates the effects of the Depression on America’s rural and small town populations, the nation’s subsequent economic recovery and industrial growth, and the country’s great mobilization for World War II.

Bound for Glory documents also documents the dawn of the Kodachrome era. According to Library of Congress staff, “These colorful images mark a historic divide in visual presentation between the monochrome world of the pre-modern age and the brilliant hues of the present. They change the way we look — and think about — our past.”

Famed photographers included in this exhibition include Dorothea Lange, Ben Shahn, and Walker Evans. Less well known are the color images included in the Bound for Glory online exhibition.

Labor Day – America in Color from 1939-1943 is worth a look. Enjoy!