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Photographs by Marion Post Wolcott


Born in New Jersey, Marion Post Wolcott (1910 - 1990) began her career as a photographer by taking portraits of her students and photographs for the Hessian Hills School brochure, before heading to New York in 1932. Over the next few years, she would photograph commissions for LIFE and Fortune magazines. A brief stint at the Philadelphia Evening Bulletin was followed by an introduction to Roy Stryker at the Farm Security Administration. Stryker hired her immediately.

She became the first woman to work for the FSA full-time, would travel across the breadth of the United States to photograph the poverty, deprivation and indeed, the soul of America. In 1941, she married Leon Oliver Wolcott, then the deputy director of war relations for the U.S. Department of Agriculture during the Roosevelt Administration. Pausing her career in 1942 to raise her family, Post Wolcott eventually returned to photography, capturing life in the Middle East and Asia before returning to America to pursue a freelance career until her death in 1990.

Post Walcott's extraordinary work earned her the Dorothea Lange Award and a posthumous Society of Photographic Education's Lifetime Achievement Award a year after her passing.