The Modern World During and After the World Wars, C. 1914–1960


Who was Henri Cartier-Bresson?

While the FSA photographers focused their attention on rural America, French photographer Henri Cartier-Bresson (1908–2004), documented the Spanish Civil War (1936–1939) and much of twentieth-century Europe. Cartier-Bresson is considered one of the foremost early photojournalists, which means he communicated the news through pictures, but he was also deeply inspired by Surrealism and took seemingly spontaneous snapshots while walking through the streets of Paris. Henri Cartier-Bresson is known for his uncanny ability to remain neutral as a photographer, to maintain a fly-on-the-wall perspective. He also subtly incorporates psychological interest into his work, making his seemingly simple photographs emotionally and intellectually complex.

American photographer Dorothea Lange took the picture Migrant Mother in 1936 as part of the Farm Security Administration’s project to document poverty during the Great Depression.


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