Russell Lee (1903 - 1986)
Russell Lee was one of the most acclaimed American photographers of the twentieth century. Born in Illinois in 1903, he lived half of his life in the Midwest, San Francisco, and New York, before finally settling in Austin.
Dissatisfied with a career in chemical engineering, Lee turned to painting, and then photography. He developed his distinctive style while documenting the effects of the Great Depression on rural communities for the Farm Security Administration. Lee's iconic images of ordinary Americans in extraordinary circumstances helped inspire the form now known as documentary photography.
By the time Lee settled in Austin, in 1947, his reputation as a photographer was well established. From his base in Texas, he continued to travel the world, recording subjects that ranged from the oil fields of Saudi Arabia to life in the distinct regions of Italy.
Stacking hay in the Big Hole Valley, Beaverhead County, MT
Vintage gelatin silver print
3 x 4 in. on 4 x 5 in. paper
Condition: crease upper left quadrant