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Arthur Rothstein

Arthur Rothstein

Arthur Rothstein nasceu em Nova York em 1915. Frequentou a Angelo Patri School no Bronx e enquanto estudante na Columbia University desenvolveu um interesse pela fotografia. Dois de seus tutores, Roy Stryker e Rex Tugwell, pediram-lhe que ajudasse na edição da imagem de um livro em que estavam trabalhando.

Durante a Grande Depressão, Rothstein foi convidado por Roy Stryker para se juntar à Farm Security Administration (FSA), patrocinada pelo governo federal, criada em 1935 por Franklin D. Roosevelt.

A FSA empregou um pequeno grupo de fotógrafos, incluindo Esther Bubley, Marjory Collins, Mary Post Wolcott, Walker Evans, Russel Lee, Gordon Parks, Jack Delano, Charlotte Brooks, John Vachon, Carl Mydans, Dorothea Lange e Ben Shahn, para divulgar o condições dos pobres rurais na América.

Em 1936, Rothstein foi enviado para documentar o Dust Bowl. Enquanto estava no condado de Cimarron, ele tirou uma fotografia que ficou conhecida como Fugindo de uma tempestade de poeira. A fotografia, que mostra um homem e seus dois filhos em uma tempestade de areia, se tornou um dos grandes motivos da década de 1930 e acabou aparecendo no Metropolitan Museum of Art.

Em 1940, Arthur Rothstein se juntou à equipe da Revista Look como fotógrafo. Durante a Segunda Guerra Mundial, ele voltou para a Farm Security Administration, que havia se tornado parte do Office of War Information. Isso incluiu tirar fotos na China, Birmânia e Índia.

Após a guerra, Arthur Rothstein voltou para Revista Look onde trabalhou como Diretor de Fotografia até o fechamento da revista em 1971. Ele então ocupou o mesmo cargo por Revista Parade.

Rothstein foi o inventor do X-O-Graph, um processo de impressão tridimensional. Ele também ensinou em várias escolas e gostava de ser o mentor de jovens fotógrafos ao longo de sua longa e diversificada carreira. Ele também publicou nove livros sobre fotografia, incluindo Olhe para nós, vamos ver, aqui estamos (1967), Fotojornalismo (1974), Uma visão compartilhada (1976), Os anos de depressão (1978), Palavras e Imagens (1980), Oeste americano nos anos trinta (1982), América em Fotografias (1985) e Fotografia documental (1985).

Arthur Rothstein morreu em New Rochelle em 1985.


Museu J. Paul Getty

Nascido em Nova York, filho de pais imigrantes, Arthur Rothstein começou a fotografar na faculdade da Universidade de Columbia, onde fundou o clube de câmera da universidade. Após a formatura, Roy Stryker o contratou como o primeiro fotógrafo da equipe da Farm Security Administration, onde se tornou famoso por suas imagens do Dust Bowl durante a Grande Depressão. Cinco anos depois, em 1940, ele se tornou fotógrafo da equipe da Olhar revista, ele mais tarde se tornou seu diretor de fotografia, permanecendo até o fim da revista em 1971. No ano seguinte, ele ingressou Parada revista, exercendo várias funções até sua morte. Durante esse período, ele também ensinou fotografia e foi membro fundador da American Society of Magazine Photographers, editando seu periódico interno por um ano. Rothstein é autor de sete livros sobre fotojornalismo que apresentam suas imagens.

Trabalhos relacionados

Esta informação é publicada a partir da base de dados da coleção do Museu. Atualizações e acréscimos decorrentes de atividades de pesquisa e imagem estão em andamento, com novos conteúdos adicionados a cada semana. Ajude-nos a melhorar nossos registros compartilhando suas correções ou sugestões.

Todos os esforços foram feitos para determinar com precisão o status dos direitos das obras e suas imagens. Entre em contato com Direitos e Reproduções do Museu se tiver mais informações sobre a situação dos direitos de uma obra contrária ou além das informações em nossos registros.


Mulheres da Luz Vermelha de Butte Aberto

Arthur Rothstein fotografou esta janela do Venus Alley em 1939. A nota diz: “Estarei aqui no domingo. Mickey. ” Divisão de Impressos e Fotografias da Biblioteca do Congresso, LC-DIG-fsa-8a11188.

“As garotas variam em idade de isca de prisão a machado de guerra”, escreveu Monroe Fry sobre as prostitutas de Butte em 1953. “[Elas] se sentam e batem nas janelas. Eles estão prontos para negócios 24 horas por dia. ” Fry considerou Butte uma das três “cidades mais abertas” dos Estados Unidos. Os outros dois - Galveston, Texas, e Phenix City, Alabama - existiam apenas para servir as bases militares próximas, mas o distrito de Butte dependia dos clientes da cidade natal. Butte ganhou a designação de “aberto” - um lugar onde o vício não era controlado - em grande parte por causa de seu bairro de luz vermelha extravagante e muito público e das mulheres que trabalhavam lá.

Por mais de um século, esses pioneiros de um tipo diferente, altamente transitórios e frustrantemente anônimos, moldaram suas práticas de negócios para sobreviver a mudanças e reformas. Como em outros lugares, as multas que pagavam engordavam os cofres da cidade e os negócios dependiam de seu patrocínio. As razões para a famosa reputação de Butte foram mais profundas, no entanto, à medida que essas mulheres preenchiam um papel adicional. Mineiros que gastavam dinheiro, tempo e energia com mulheres públicas eram menos propensos a se organizar contra a poderosa Anaconda Copper Mining Company. Enquanto as minas operaram, as mulheres públicas serviram à empresa desviando os interesses dos homens.

As camadas arquitetônicas da última sala de visitas remanescente de Butte, o Dumas Hotel, ilustram visualmente uma economia em mudança e a mudança na clientela de Copper Kings para mineiros. Hoje, o segundo andar mantém as suítes originais, onde a elite de Butte gastou somas exuberantes na alta década de 1890. Mas os elegantes espaços do andar térreo, onde as noites de festa precediam os "negócios" no andar de cima, foram posteriormente convertidos em berços, escritórios de uma sala onde as mulheres atendiam seus clientes.

Embora Butte tivesse o maior e mais famoso distrito da luz vermelha de Montana, as prostitutas trabalhavam em quase todas as comunidades de tamanho considerável. Essas prostitutas, posando ca. 1905 com clientes em potencial em Miles City, estão usando vestidos “Mother Hubbard”, vestidos soltos projetados para serem usados ​​sem espartilhos. Na década de 1880, esses vestidos de "fácil acesso" se tornaram o uniforme padrão das prostitutas. Fotografia da coleção Robert C. Morrison, MHS Photo Archive, PAc 95-70 Box 11 [18] As poucas casas de salão de alta classe de Butte colocam uma fachada extravagante em um negócio sórdido. Pequenos bordéis e berços, cheirando a desinfetante, se alinhavam nas ruas e becos onde os ladrões perambulavam. As mulheres públicas de Butte o chamaram de "distrito queimado", e o amplamente lido, propriedade da empresa Butte Mineiro adorava reportar crimes e tragédias no distrito.

O fim do Copper Kings em 1900 marcou o fim da elegante sala de visitas. Antecipando as mudanças, as mulheres começaram a solicitar mais descaradamente, relaxando nas janelas das casas e berços ao longo das vias do distrito. Mal vestidos com invólucros chamados “shady-go-nakeds”, eles batiam nas janelas, dirigindo-se rudemente aos transeuntes.

Em 1902, o Mineiro publicou uma seção especial no domingo sobre o distrito da luz vermelha que abordou solicitação, condições insalubres, praga urbana, alcoolismo e o suborno que as autoridades municipais exigem abertamente das mulheres públicas. Enquanto alguns cidadãos propuseram eliminar ou mover o distrito, o Mineiro apresentou ambos os lados do argumento. A exposição divulgou ainda mais a imagem aberta de Butte & # 8217s, atraindo ainda mais mineiros para Butte.

Mulheres públicas responderam às ordenanças subsequentes. Eles pagavam voluntariamente o aluguel do berço e as multas mensais, mas ordens para alongar seus vestidos, vestir blusas de gola alta e fechar as cortinas os deixaram indignados. As mulheres abriram buracos nas persianas para os rostos e organizaram um protesto. Em Butte, o coração do movimento trabalhista, as prostitutas se uniram apenas desta vez, batendo forte em suas janelas em solidariedade. Mesmo assim, a cidade proibiu a solicitação nas vias públicas, quando as mulheres cortaram portas e janelas na parte de trás dos berços, criando o labirinto conhecido como Beco Agradável.

Em janeiro de 1916, o distrito se expandiu quando o cobre subiu para uma alta de 20 centavos de dólar a libra. Na parte de trás do Dumas, novos berços de tijolos se abriram para Pleasant Alley. A atividade, no entanto, durou pouco. Em 1917, a lei federal fechou os distritos da luz vermelha em um esforço para proteger os alistados da Primeira Guerra Mundial das doenças venéreas crescentes. A prostituição em Butte - inclusive no Dumas - mudou-se para berços sujos no porão. Em 1990, a demolição do vizinho Bloco de Cobre revelou pequenos berços parecidos com uma caverna com chão de terra, onde as mulheres trabalhavam no subsolo em condições deploráveis.

Pleasant Alley reabriu na década de 1930 como Venus Alley, mas a lei federal fechou o distrito como medida de guerra novamente em 1943. Após a Segunda Guerra Mundial, várias madames trabalharam em casas dilapidadas repletas de antiguidades. A maioria dos berços lendários de Venus Alley, conhecidos pelas últimas madames de Butte como Piss Alley, caiu na bola de demolição em 1954. Hoje, no Dumas, carpete felpudo laranja, um telefone público e enfeites vermelhos refletem sua remodelação dos anos 1960.

Em 1968, o incêndio criminoso fechou o Windsor Hotel, que também havia servido como uma casa de visitas. Sua irada senhora, Beverly Snodgrass, foi a Washington, D.C., para reclamar aos senadores sobre a perda de seu negócio. Ela alegou que vinha pagando setecentos dólares mensais como dinheiro de proteção aos policiais de Butte desde 1963 e que policiais uniformizados freqüentemente exigiam serviços gratuitos de seus empregados. O senador Mike Mansfield determinou, no entanto, que se tratava de um assunto local.

O padrão de desgaste no linóleo do Dumas Hotel ilustra a estratégia de marketing das mulheres: solicitar na janela, atender a porta, negociar no fogão e depois ir direto para a cama. Fotografia de Ellen Baumler.

Depois de uma série de oito partes sobre Butte vice no Grandes quedas Tribuna, As três casas restantes de Butte foram fechadas. Apenas Ruby Garrett no Dumas reabriu. Os clientes pagavam cerca de vinte dólares pelos serviços de seus vários funcionários, e Garrett também alegou que ela pagava mensalmente à polícia de Butte dinheiro para proteção. Ela já havia sido roubada duas vezes quando um terceiro assalto brutal em 1981 gerou publicidade indesejada. Acusado de sonegação de imposto de renda federal, Garrett prometeu não reabrir e cumpriu seis meses de prisão federal. Não foi por acaso que o fechamento de Dumas em 1982 coincidiu com o fechamento final das minas de Butte.

Charlie Chaplin afirmou que as mulheres públicas de Butte eram as mais bonitas, as mais bem tratadas e as mais sortudas. Na realidade, o distrito da luz vermelha de Butte era atraente por causa da disparidade entre sua fachada glamorosa e seu verdadeiro ponto fraco. As mulheres estavam no centro dessa dupla imagem. Hoje, figuras de metal - o trabalho de alunos de lojinhas de escolas secundárias locais - homenageiam discretamente as mulheres anônimas que trabalharam ao longo dos becos pavimentados com tijolos. A presença das prostitutas também permanece na mitologia aberta e histórica de Butte. EB

Você pode fazer o download de um tour pelo distrito da luz vermelha de Butte e # 8217s na página Women & # 8217s History Matters Places.

Quer saber mais? Leia Ellen Baumler & # 8217s "Poleiro do Diabo: Prostituição de Suite para Adega em Butte, Montana", publicado em Montana A Revista de História Ocidental 48, nº 3 (outono de 1998), 4-21. Você pode encontrar links para o texto completo de todos Montana A Revista de História Ocidental artigos relacionados à história das mulheres aqui.

Baumler, Ellen. “Poleiro do Diabo: Prostituição de Suíte a Adega em Butte, Montana.” Montana A Revista de História Ocidental 48, nº 3 (outono de 1998), 4-21.

____________. “O fim da linha: Butte, Anaconda e a paisagem da prostituição.” Vistas de Drumlummon (Primavera de 2009), 283-301, em http://www.drumlummon.org/images/DV_vol3-no1_PDFs/DV_vol3-no1_Baumler.pdf.

Butte Mineiro, 19 de janeiro de 1902.

Fry, Monroe. “As três cidades mais abertas.” Escudeiro 47 (junho de 1953), 49.

Great Falls Tribune, 13 a 18 de outubro de 1968.

Murphy, Mary. Mining Cultures: Men, Women, and Leisure in Butte, 1914-41. Urbana: University of Illinois Press, 1997.


Arthur Rothstein, Dust Storm, Cimarron County, Oklahoma, abril de 1936

Arthur Rothstein (1915 & # 8211 1985), Tempestade de poeira, Condado de Cimarron, Oklahoma, Abril de 1936, impressão em prata gelatina. Coleção do Museu de Arte do Middlebury College, doação de George R. Rinhart, 1996.003.

/> Uma das fotos mais conhecidas da Era da Depressão, Arthur Rothstein's Dust Bowl Cimarron County, Oklahoma retrata um fazendeiro e seus dois filhos lutando contra os elementos durante uma tempestade de areia. 1 A fotografia é intitulada alternadamente Fugindo de uma tempestade de areia. Mais longe, Arthur Coble e filhos caminhando em meio a uma tempestade de areia, Condado de Cimarron, Oklahoma. Rothstein mais tarde lembrou: “O fazendeiro e seus dois filhos pequenos estavam passando por um galpão em sua propriedade e eu tirei uma foto deles com a poeira girando ao redor ... ela mostrava um indivíduo em relação ao seu ambiente”. 2 Arthur Rothstein, Palavras e Imagens (Nova York: American Photographic Book Publishing Co., 1979), 8.

Embora o título leve os espectadores a acreditar que a fotografia foi tirada durante o auge de uma tempestade de areia, a fotografia era na verdade uma reconstituição. Alguns anos depois de tirar a foto, o fotógrafo descreveu como orientou o homem e seus filhos a representar como seria uma tempestade. Ele pediu ao menino da direita que cobrisse os olhos com os braços e que o pai e o filho mais velho se inclinassem para a frente como se estivessem caminhando em uma forte tempestade. O galpão dilapidado atrás deles fala sobre a pobreza da época, embora na realidade o celeiro e a casa de fazenda da família & # 8217s fossem estruturas muito mais robustas. Embora a fotografia capture as circunstâncias terríveis em que muitos agricultores se encontraram, é o resultado do que Rothstein chamou de “direção em uma história fotográfica”, em vez de um documento de uma tempestade de areia real. 3 James Curtis, Mind’s Eye, Mind’s Truth: FSA Photography Reconsidered (Philadelphia: Temple University Press, 1989), p. 83

Ouça a professora de História e Estudos Ambientais, Kathryn Morse, discutir a fotografia dentro do contexto do Dust Bowl e da Grande Depressão:


Procurar arquivos de Arthur Rothstein de 1936

Durante os cinco anos que passou trabalhando na Fazenda
Administração de Segurança, o fotógrafo Arthur Rothstein tirou cerca de 80.000
imagens. & # 160 Entre as imagens estava esta em
o projeto das fazendas em Loup City, Nebraska:
https://www.loc.gov/resource/fsa.8b38365/

Na foto estão minha avó, meu pai e
tio. & # 160 É possível que Rothstein adicional
material (não fotográfico) pode existir nos Arquivos Nacionais daquele mês? & # 160

O contexto para a atividade de Rothstein & # 8217s naquele ano é fornecido por
o maravilhoso mapa composto visualizando as 170.000 fotografias de
1935 a 1945 criado pela FSA e pelo Office of War Information. [http://photogrammar.yale.edu/map/]

Eu estou ciente do Arthur
Documentos de Rothstein, 1936-1984, mantidos pelos Arquivos da Arte Americana, Smithsonian
Instituição.

Re: buscar arquivos de Arthur Rothstein de 1936
Alan Walker 03.04.2017 12:04 (в ответ на Russ Czaplewski)

Um colega da unidade de Imagens estáticas da NARA oferece as seguintes sugestões:

"Para materiais textuais mais relevantes para a operação fotográfica, o investigador terá mais sorte com os Roy Stryker Papers (1935-43) no Archives of American Art (muita correspondência direta Stryker-Rothstein neste conjunto de papéis microfilmados) , os Roy Stryker Papers (1924-1972) nos Arquivos Fotográficos da Universidade de Louisville (também microfilmados), e os Registros Escritos da Administração do Reassentamento - Administração de Segurança da Fazenda - Escritório de Informações de Guerra: Arquivos do Office, Listas de Legendas, Arquivos de Referência Suplementar (1935- 1943) na Divisão de Impressos e Fotografias da Biblioteca do Congresso (também em microfilme). Não haverá correspondência ou outra documentação de base sobre cada e todos Atribuição de RA / FSA, mas há referências de um tipo ou de outro para um bom número, portanto, vale a pena verificar essas fontes. "

Boa sorte com sua pesquisa!

Re: buscar arquivos de Arthur Rothstein de 1936
Divisão de Manuscritos LOC 17.11.2018 13:59 (в ответ на Russ Czaplewski)

Os papéis de Arthur Rothstein na Divisão de Manuscritos da Biblioteca do Congresso fazem parte de uma coleção maior intitulada Coleção Arthur Rothstein, da qual a maior parte está armazenada na Divisão de Impressos e Fotografias da Biblioteca do Congresso. A maioria das fotografias, negativos e folhas de contato dos Rothstein Papers foram transferidos para a Divisão de Impressos e Fotografias da Biblioteca e # 8217s, onde são identificados como parte da Coleção Rothstein. Os papéis de Arthur Rothstein (1915-1985) abrangem os anos de 1936-2000, com a maior parte do material datando de 1952 a 1985. A coleção inclui correspondência, discursos e escritos e arquivos de assuntos. O foco dos artigos é a carreira de cinquenta anos de Rothstein e # 8217 como fotógrafo e seu trabalho como professor e escritor sobre o tema da fotografia. Você pode acessar os documentos de Rothstein para encontrar ajuda aqui: http://findingaids.loc.gov/exist_collections/service/mss/eadxmlmss/eadpdfmss/2010/ms010244.pdf?loclr=hhub

Arthur Rothstein doou sua coleção fotográfica, incluindo impressões, negativos e transparências coloridas, para a Divisão de Impressões e Fotografias da Biblioteca e # 8217s em 1972. Seu trabalho também está representado nessa divisão & # 8217s Farm Security Administration Collection e Look Magazine Photography Collection.

Esperamos que esta informação seja útil em sua pesquisa.

Re: buscar arquivos de Arthur Rothstein de 1936

Li seu pedido de pesquisa com interesse. & # 160 Também estou buscando informações sobre a correspondência do Sr. Rothstein & # 8217s do período de & # 160 de maio de 1936. & # 160 Meus avós moravam na fazenda em South Sioux City nessa época, e meu pai nasceu em 5 de maio de 1936 na fazenda. & # 160 Eu acredito que o Sr. Rothstein ficou no sul de Nebraska e não viajou para a parte norte do estado. & # 160 & # 160 Deixe-me saber se você & # 8217d estaria disposto a compartilhar todos os insights que você descobriu. Obrigado


Redescobrindo as "histórias fotográficas" de Arthur Rothstein

Forçado a se mudar pela seca, Dakota do Norte, 1936
Famílias foram deslocadas pelo Dust Bowl
Crédito da foto: Foto de Arthur Rothstein, cortesia da Biblioteca do Congresso, Divisão de Impressos e Fotografias, Coleção FSA / OWI

Meu pai, Arthur Rothstein (1915-1985) foi o primeiro fotógrafo contratado pela Farm Security Administration, a agência do New Deal que foi pioneira no uso de fotografias e “histórias fotográficas” para obter apoio público e político para programas de ajuda federal.

Começando em 1935, a Administração de Reassentamento, mais tarde renomeada Farm Security Administration & # 8211 "FSA", para abreviar & # 8211 compilou uma pesquisa fotográfica nacional sem precedentes da vida na América devastada pela Depressão.

Durante os quase sete anos de trabalho de papai para a FSA, ele refinou a arte da narrativa visual, produzindo centenas de ensaios fotográficos detalhados que documentavam a necessidade de assistência governamental e os programas de ajuda humanitária do New Deal bem-sucedidos criados em resposta.

A poeira ameaça engolfar uma casa. Liberal, Kansas, 1936
As fotos da FSA dão um rosto humano a problemas como “seca” e “fazendas decadentes”, alvo dos programas do New Deal.
Crédito da foto: Arthur Rothstein, cortesia da Biblioteca do Congresso, Divisão de Impressos e Fotografias, Coleção FSA / OWI

Papai era ferozmente patriótico. Seus pais, judeus deslocados da Europa Oriental por pogroms, encontraram refúgio e oportunidade na América. Ele foi atraído por histórias de migrantes e despossuídos que, embora não por culpa própria, precisavam da ajuda do governo. Ele trouxe um poderoso senso de propósito para suas atribuições do New Deal.

O chefe de papai na FSA, Roy Stryker, compartilhava do senso de propósito de papai. Stryker acreditava que a fotografia poderia servir como uma ferramenta para promover a justiça social. Ele achava que palavras com fotos forneciam evidências irrefutáveis ​​da necessidade de assistência federal aos americanos em dificuldades. Mais de uma dúzia de fotógrafos da FSA acabariam contribuindo com imagens para o extenso registro visual da vida americana de Stryker durante a Depressão e os primeiros anos da Segunda Guerra Mundial. Essa coleção, preservada na Biblioteca do Congresso, inclui imagens icônicas que meu pai tirou quando era um jovem fotógrafo da FSA. Suas fotos da devastação provocada pela seca e pelo Dust Bowl permanecem as mais famosas de sua carreira.

Eddie Mitchell, Birmingham, Alabama
Foto de Arthur Rothstein para a revista Look
Crédito da foto: cortesia da Biblioteca do Congresso, Divisão de Impressos e Fotografias, Coleção FSA / OWI

Os valores que meu pai herdou de seus pais imigrantes, reforçados por sua gestão no New Deal sob Roy Stryker, podem ser vistos no trabalho que papai criou ao longo de sua carreira de 50 anos como fotojornalista e documentarista.

Depois de servir como fotógrafo no US Army Signal Corps durante a Segunda Guerra Mundial e como fotógrafo-chefe de uma agência de ajuda humanitária das Nações Unidas na China após a guerra, papai passou 35 anos como diretor de fotografia no popular Olhar e Parada revistas. Uma das primeiras e mais memoráveis ​​histórias de papai para Olhar retratou as indignidades diárias de um jovem negro que vivia no sul segregado.

O portfólio do New Deal do papai ainda se destaca como surpreendentemente relevante. As imagens de meu pai de quase 80 anos atrás nos lembram que ainda vivemos entre os despossuídos - aqueles que não têm justiça e ficam vulneráveis ​​por forças além de seu controle - e que o governo tem a responsabilidade de proteger e apoiar aqueles que precisam de ajuda.

Fazendeiro inquilino, Tennessee, 1937
O colapso da economia rural deslocou os agricultores de suas terras.
Crédito da foto: Arthur Rothstein, cortesia da Biblioteca do Congresso, Divisão de Impressos e Fotografias, Coleção FSA / OWI


A polícia e os promotores não conseguiram resolver a morte a tiros do lendário financista, jogador e mentor da Máfia

Noventa anos atrás, nesta semana, com o último suspiro do empresário Máfia mais provocador de Nova York, um dos maiores mistérios não resolvidos das gangues da América nasceu.

Em 4 de novembro de 1928, às 22h15, um telefonema veio para o restaurante Lindy's, na Broadway. A pessoa que ligou pediu para falar com um dos frequentadores do estabelecimento. Arnold Rothstein pediu licença para sair da mesa, atendeu a ligação, voltou momentos depois e entregou uma pistola de cano longo e cabo de pérola a seu associado, James Meehan. Ele se separou de Meehan e se aventurou no Park Central Hotel, supostamente indo para o quarto 349 de lá.

Em uma hora, Arnold Rothstein - o homem conhecido na cidade como “The Brain” e “The Big Bankroll” - levou uma descarga violenta de chumbo quente no abdômen. Os funcionários do hotel o viram tropeçar e sangrar muito na porta de serviço de um hotel antes de desmaiar. Uma ambulância o levou às pressas para o Hospital Policlínico, onde os cirurgiões lutaram para remover a lesma e realizar uma transfusão de sangue. O detetive da polícia de Nova York, Patrick Floyd, um rosto familiar para Rothstein, tentou reunir algumas informações.

Rothstein foi baleado no Park Central Hotel, em Nova York. Cortesia de Christian Cipollini.

"Quem atirou em você, A.R.?" Floyd perguntou.

Rothstein, fiel à forma, recusou-se a nomear seu agressor, respondendo: "Você me conhece melhor do que isso, Paddy."

A bala que penetrou na barriga de Rothstein (mais tarde rastreada até um revólver calibre .38 encontrado na rua abaixo do hotel) fez uma trajetória descendente e penetrou profundamente na bexiga. A ferida doeu e causou forte sangramento interno. A localização profunda do projétil no corpo tornava a extração inútil.

Rothstein morreu em 6 de novembro, mas não antes de assinar grogue um testamento revisado, apresentado a ele durante um desfile caótico de visitantes. Seu advogado, Maurice Cantor, supostamente guiou a mão de Rothstein para rabiscar um "X" no documento. O testamento, ajustado de outro testamento que Rothstein havia assinado naquele março, distribuiu dinheiro para seu assistente, Sidney Stajer, e a amante de Rothstein, a ex-dançarina do Ziegfeld Follies Inez Norton. Também deu a Cantor cinco por cento da propriedade. O novo vai reduzir a parte legada à esposa de Rothstein, Carolyn, de metade em março para um terço, enquanto aumenta a parte de Norton para um sexto. As mudanças levaram a uma breve contestação legal por Carolyn Rothstein, que contestou o segundo testamento antes de resolver a disputa. No momento de sua morte, o patrimônio de Rothstein valia supostamente de $ 1 milhão a $ 3 milhões (de $ 14 milhões a $ 42 milhões hoje com base na inflação).

Exatamente o que aconteceu nas últimas horas da vida de Rothstein, e por que a polícia de Nova York esperou três semanas para conduzir uma investigação completa depois que muitos dos registros em papel de Rothstein foram roubados, provou estar entre as muitas questões após sua morte e muito depois do assassinato julgamento terminou. O mistério ainda não resolvido foi em grande parte o resultado de falhas épicas por parte da polícia e promotores, que podem ter encoberto para salvar pessoas importantes do constrangimento.

Thomas Rice, membro da Comissão do Crime do Estado de Nova York, escreveu uma crítica contundente - estendendo-se por toda a primeira página do Brooklyn Eagle jornal em 31 de março de 1929 - sobre a entrega da investigação do assassinato de Rothstein pela polícia e pelo promotor público de Nova York, Joab H. Banton.

Banton acusou George A. McManus, amigo de jogo de Rothman, do assassinato. Rothman disse a uma testemunha em Lindy's que McManus havia chamado e convocado Rothman para o Park Central Hotel, onde McManus foi registrado no quarto 349. Banton alegou que McManus atirou em Rothman lá. No início, a polícia promoveu uma teoria de estimação sobre o motivo. Em um jogo de Stud Poker em 8 de setembro, Rothman perdeu $ 200.000 e McManus $ 51.000 para outros jogadores de apostas altas. Rothman colocou o prejuízo em sua conta, depois se recusou a pagar aos jogadores, acreditando que havia sido enganado. Mas a polícia abandonaria a ideia da dívida do pôquer. Sem muitas evidências, Banton acusou McManus, com base em parte na descoberta do casaco de McManus na Sala 349.

George McManus, companheiro de jogo de Rothstein, foi preso pelo assassinato de Rothstein, mas absolvido. Cortesia de Christian Cipollini.

No entanto, Rice observou que Banton posteriormente admitiu que não tinha provas de que Rothstein sequer visitou o quarto do hotel. Rothstein foi encontrado mortalmente ferido na entrada de serviço do Park Central e pode ter sido baleado na rua, escreveu Rice.

O trabalho policial de má qualidade resultou na perda de talvez centenas de páginas dos papéis pessoais de Rothman, documentos que podem ter desaparecido porque teriam exposto as associações de Rothman com vários políticos, juízes, banqueiros e estrelas de cinema, de acordo com Rice.

Rice citou William A. Hyman, advogado do espólio de Rothstein, que disse a repórteres em 1928: “Quando os cofres de Rothstein forem abertos, haverá muitos suicídios. Vá colocar isso em seus papéis. ”

A influência de Rothstein permaneceu forte mesmo após sua morte. Antes da Lei Seca, ele serviu como mentor para jovens adolescentes (e futuros bandidos) Frank Costello, Meyer Lansky e Charles “Lucky” Luciano. Seus associados próximos incluíam um quem é quem dos principais mafiosos da área de Nova York dos anos 1920, como Louis “Lepke” Buchalter, Dutch Schultz, Phil Kastel, Waxey Gordon e Longy Zwillman. Mas Rothstein não era um chefe da Máfia, nem necessariamente um mafioso. Em vez disso, ele era um homem que concedia grandes empréstimos ao submundo do crime e mantinha gângsteres promissores, bem como políticos e policiais, em sua folha de pagamento.

Sua morte se tornou essencialmente o catalisador para uma investigação em duas fases. Para a polícia de Nova York, era um mistério de assassinato. A outra investigação apontou para o tráfico de drogas, com base em pistas de que Rothstein manipulou uma quadrilha internacional de narcóticos. Alguns funcionários do governo, notadamente Sara Graham-Mulhall, vice-comissária do Departamento de Controle de Drogas do Estado de Nova York, vinham acompanhando a história de Rothstein de resgatar gangsters, particularmente traficantes de drogas conhecidos.

As investigações provariam ser tudo, menos incisivas em ambas as frentes. Rothstein sabia coisas, conhecia pessoas em cargos importantes, tinha investimentos nas áreas claras e sombrias dos negócios e mantinha registros impressos. Mas a maioria das evidências documentadas que os investigadores pensaram que encontrariam em cofres nunca se materializaram.

Os empreendimentos conhecidos de Rothstein, como jogos de azar, imóveis e contrabando, mal arranharam a superfície do que ele realmente fazia por mais de uma década. Como os fanáticos da lei e da ordem descobririam rapidamente, seus segredos não eram facilmente desvendados, nem mesmo quando seus ex-subordinados enfrentavam a opção de gritar ou passar anos em uma cela úmida de prisão. Mais do que alguns dos chamados cidadãos "íntegros" começaram a tremer ao pensar em seus nomes vindo à tona quando os cofres e caixas de depósito de Rothstein foram abertos.

Embora os suspeitos e testemunhas materiais tenham sido rapidamente apanhados para interrogatório (Nicky Arnstein, James Meehan, George McManus, Titanic Thompson, etc.), a maioria foi menos do que acessível e outros foram considerados "hostis", como o confidente mais próximo de Rothstein, o tráfico de drogas Sidney Stajer, viciado em heroína e tímido pelas câmeras, que alertou os repórteres para "dar o fora daqui!" As ideias de por que Rothstein foi morto percorriam todo o espectro, desde sua dívida de jogo até a sugestão de que ele tirou a própria vida.

Outro mistério é exatamente o que os arquivos de Rothstein, armazenados em vários locais da cidade, continham, quem os roubou e por quê. Apenas um dia depois que Rothstein sucumbiu ao ferimento mortal, os oficiais "encontraram" dois personagens obscuros vasculhando papéis no escritório principal de Rothstein. Tecnicamente, os policiais não tinham nada para segurar os homens e, infelizmente, foram para a escuridão. Quem eram esses intrusos e o que procuravam? Rothstein havia contratado os dois homens, mas não em uma carreira que alguém listaria em um currículo. As autoridades os identificaram como George Uffner e Charles Lucania (anos antes de sua notoriedade como “Lucky” Luciano). O primeiro carregava a reputação de jogador, traficante de drogas e amigo de Rothstein. Este último, embora menos conhecido na época, tinha uma ficha criminal que incluía porte de arma, narcóticos e uma associação com outro conhecido executor de Rothstein, Jack “Legs” Diamond.

Um jovem Charles “Lucky” Luciano foi orientado por Rothstein e pode ter sido parceiro dele em uma quadrilha de narcóticos. Cortesia de Christian Cipollini.

Teorias da conspiração encheram o ar. Uffner, Lucania e outro ex-guarda-costas de Rothstein, Thomas "Fatty" Walsh, foram eventualmente detidos para interrogatório, mas as negações inflexíveis do trio de qualquer conhecimento do assassinato de Rothstein ou filiações de gangues não forneceram à polícia nada de útil.

“Rothstein nunca foi associado a gangsters”, insistiu Uffner.

No entanto, os agentes que investigam o ângulo dos narcóticos conseguiram rastrear alguns carregamentos de drogas suspeitos de entrada ligados a Rothstein naquele dezembro. Um funcionário do governo a proclamou como “a maior rede de drogas dos Estados Unidos”. A prisão de Joseph Unger, de 53 anos, e a apreensão de US $ 2 milhões em drogas pesadas podem ter sido o elo perdido tanto para o mistério do assassinato quanto para o suposto cartel de drogas. Nenhum dos dois deu certo, já que Unger disse à polícia que "ferveria em óleo" antes de fornecer informações.

O resultado dos casos de assassinato e narcóticos deixou mais perguntas do que respostas. Os promotores não puderam condenar o principal suspeito de assassinato, McManus. A maior parte dos depoimentos das testemunhas foi nebulosa, na melhor das hipóteses. O assassinato de Rothstein permanece sem solução.

“Eu suspeito de A.R. e McManus estavam discutindo, este último estava bêbado e ele ou seu guarda-costas sacou uma arma para jogar duro e ela disparou ”, diz Patrick Downey, autor de Gangster City: a história do submundo de Nova York 1900-1935. “Se eles o quisessem morto, teriam dado a ele mais um ou dois na cabeça. Além disso, não acho que eles o teriam chamado a um hotel popular para matá-lo. ”

The government did connect Rothstein as the financier behind many drug rings (dealing in cocaine, heroin and opium) both in the United States and abroad, but successfully incarcerated only a few of the many operatives. Again, it seemed some of these guys were well protected even after their boss’s death, including dope pushers such as Stajer, Uffner, Diamond and Abraham Stein. In fact, many of these globetrotting drug lords, Charles Lucania included, kept the gig going for several more years.
If the Rothstein murder and drug cartel calamity had any silver lining, at least from the government’s perspective, it was the relatively swift decision to create a department centralized to fight a war on drugs. The birth of the Federal Bureau of Narcotics in 1930, and the rise of its long-serving first commissioner, Harry J. Anslinger, were at least indirect, and arguably direct, results of the Rothstein cases.


The Case of the Inappropriate Alarm Clock (Part 1)

Republican editors throughout the land were soon rubbing their hands over a dispatch which, on quick reading, seemed to convict the New Deal’s cherished resettlement Administration of photographic fakery and bad faith.
— Time Magazine

Summer of 1936. One of the worst droughts in American history. On June 7, North Dakota’s Republican governor, Walter Welford, proclaimed a day of prayer. The citizens of North Dakota would kneel en masse to pray for rain. “Only Providence,” the governor declared, could avert 𠇊nother tragedy of tremendous proportions.” Devil’s Lake, N.D., recorded .16 of an inch.

On June 21, Gov. Welford flew to Washington to ask President Roosevelt for aid. On June 23, Roosevelt ordered Dr. Tugwell, head of the Resettlement Administration, to make a survey of the needs in Dakotas and Montana. A million dollars in aid had been requested.

Within a week, a heat wave spread across the Western plains. Newspapers reported it was 111 degrees in North Dakota. By July 7, it was a record 119 degrees in parts of the state. Fields were scorched brown and black. The range country seemed to be covered with a tan moss so close to the ground that the hungry cattle could not reach it so dry was the covering that it was useless for sheep. It was estimated that 85 percent of the cattle in North Dakota would have to be moved out of state or sent to slaughter. The federal government stepped forward with $5 million to buy a million head of cattle — with the meat to go to the needy.

Grasshoppers descended on the region, their vast numbers consuming what little crops remained. By July 9, heat had killed 120 across the country.

On July 11, the people of Mitchell, S.D., turned once more to prayer. Bells in the city’s 13 church towers tolled the signal to the people, 11,000 in number, to fall to their knees. The temperature stood at 104 degrees. Still the rain did not come.

On July 17, Washington responded to the worsening situation with a vast migration plan. Thousands of families would be moved by the federal government — about 30 percent of the farm families of North Dakota would be taken off their barren land. The grasshoppers marched on.

By August, small cactus plants were the only living vegetation over large areas along the Dakota-Montana line. The grasshoppers were gone now, killed by the intense heat or starved to death. They had been replaced by an infestation of rodents driven into homes in search of food. By Aug. 9 supplies of traps in North Dakota were exhausted. Home owners anxiously awaited new shipments to relieve the situation.

The land was turning to desert and dust. It felt like the end of the world.

On Aug. 25, Franklin Delano Roosevelt boarded a train for the Dakotas.

Dan Mooney for Errol Morris New York Times

It was the 1936 presidential election. The issues would be familiar to today’s voters. Roosevelt, the eastern Democrat, arguing for the intervention of government in the economy, and Alf Landon, the midwestern Republican, arguing for a laissez-faire approach free of government controls and intervention. Roosevelt, campaigning for a second term, was on a train (“the Dustbowl Special”) headed towards the Dakota badlands. Everything was in place for a series of photo opportunities and news stories that would cast his efforts to fight the drought in the best possible light. But, unknown to F.D.R., a controversy was brewing, a controversy involving photography. Time magazine observed:

…when Franklin Roosevelt’s special train rolled into Bismarck, N. Dakota in the course of its travels through the drought areas it also rolled into a story which brought nationwide attention to a small-town newspaper. Aboard the Presidential Pullmans were placed scores of copies of the Fargo (N. Dakota) Forum, whose front page displayed a strange yarn. Because a corps of the nation’s nimblest news hawks were also on the train, Republican editors throughout the land were soon rubbing their hands over a dispatch which, on quick reading, seemed to convict the New Deal’s cherished resettlement Administration of photographic fakery and bad faith.

In 1935, Roosevelt organized the Resettlement Administration (R.A.), a federal agency responsible for relocating struggling urban and rural families. By 1937 (because of intense Congressional pressure) it had been folded into a new agency, the Farm Security Administration (F.S.A.) designed to combat rural poverty. If this was all there was to it, the R.A. and F.S.A. might have been forgotten by history [1]. But there was a small photography program, part of the Information Division of the F.S.A., headed by Roy Stryker, that nurtured many of the important photographers of the 1930s: Walker Evans, Dorothea Lange, Russell Lee, Ben Shahn and Arthur Rothstein, among others. It also produced Pare Lorentz’s extraordinary documentary films “The Plow that Broke the Plains” and “The River” [2].

If one can imagine the political animosity that would have been generated if, as part of the current stimulus package, President Obama introduced a national documentary photography program, then it is possible to understand the opposition that the F.S.A. faced. Fiscal conservatives did not want to see their hard-earned tax dollars spent on relief, let alone a government photography program, of all things. And in Arthur Rothstein’s photograph of a sun-bleached cow skull, Roosevelt’s opponents had found their proof of government waste, duplicity and fraud. A salvo was fired across the front pages of the Fargo Forum.

𠇍rought Counterfeiters Get Our Dander Up” and “It’s a Fake: Daily Newspapers Throughout the United States Fell For this Gem Among Phony Pictures.” The paper referred to “the man with the wooden-nickel pictures” and contained three claimed examples of photo-fakery: Arthur Rothstein’s cow skull photograph (taken for the Resettlement Administration Farm Security Administration — later known as the Farm Security Administration, or F.S.A. — and distributed by the government to the Associated Press) a composite photograph of cattle grazing next to the North Dakota state capitol (printed in The New York Times) and a picture supposedly of a

section of the Missouri River near Stanton, N.D. (widely distributed by the Associated Press).

Three different photographs. Three accusations of photo-fakery. Of the three, only one appeared to be an out-and-out fraud, the picture of the cattle and capitol. It appeared in The New York Times on Sunday, Aug. 9, 1936, with the caption: �ttle Invade a State Capitol. A herd driven from the drought area contentedly grazes on the Capitol grounds at Bismarck, N. D.” As the Forum reported:

If these cows could only read. You𠆝 think they𠆝 been eating loco weed. Where those cows are presumably grazing is a graveled parking lot at the rear of the state capitol, thickly dotted with cars at all hours of the day. The picture fake, foisted on innocent, unsuspecting newspapers, is the result of a photographic trick — superimposing a herd of cattle on a picture of the North Dakota capitol building.

The picture of the Missouri River was at best miscaptioned:

Blushingly, The Fargo Forum admits that it too fell for this photographic gold brick, a blatant, crude fake, which went out to the unsuspecting Associated Press from a too-smart photographer who wanted nickels [presumably, a somewhat obscure reference to “wooden-nickel pictures]. To the right is the faked picture, purportedly showing a section of the Missouri river near Stanton, N.D., purportedly showing the water receded sufficiently to permit automobiles to ford the stream without difficulty. Above is the actual, honest picture of the Missouri river at Stanton N.D., as it was at the time the faked picture purportedly was taken. The contraption in the foreground is a ferry which has been in operation 20 years, missing trips only because of the wind or ice, never because of low water. The river is about 16 feet deep at a point about 50 feet from shore.

But it was a photograph of a cow skull taken by a young photographer, Arthur Rothstein, that brought out the real nastiness.

There never was a year when a scene like this couldn’t be produced in N. Dakota, even in years where rainfall levels were far above normal. What we see here is a typical alkali flat, left when melting snow water and spring rains had passed in the changing seasons. Without difficulty, one can find these in Maryland, Pennsylvania, Indiana, wherever one chooses. The skull? Oh, that’s a moveable “prop,” which comes in handy for photographers who want to touch up their photographs with a bit of the grisly.

The “moveable prop,” the cow skull, could be transported about by an unscrupulous Roosevelt administration propagandist, deposited on a “typical alkali flat,” photographed, and sold to anyone who needed a picture of drought. Part of the problem was the cow skull photograph had been taken antes the summer months of the drought — in May 1936 [3]. And the Farm Security Administration (F.S.A.) had provided several “versions” of the photograph. o mesmo cow skull had been photographed in different locations, as if the photographer was looking for the perfect landscape to make his case. The Fargo Forum was further incensed by the idea that North Dakota farmers had been badly served by the cow skull. Several articles offer a spirited defense of North Dakota farmers and spoke of the extraordinary agricultural “wealth” produced in the Red River Valley.

By September, accusations of fraud were all over the place. There were dozens of articles about supposed photo-fraud and the cow skull.

Aug. 29, The New York Sun, 𠇍rought Photo Branded Fake.”
Aug. 30, The Washington Star, 𠇍rought Skull Picture Faking Head Admitted by the New Deal.”
Aug. 31, The Fargo Evening Forum, �stern Press Follows Forum’s Lead, Unearths History of this Fake Photo.”
Sept. 4, The Fargo Evening Forum, “RA’s Perambulating Skull in Poignant Poses.”
Sept. 5, The Topeka Kansas Capitol, “There’s Skullduggery here.”
Sept. 6, Waterbury Republican, “Lights! Camera!”
Sept. 15, The Burlington Iowa Hawkeye, �kery – Then Bad Faith.”
Sept. 16, Chicago News, “That Stage-prop Skull.”

The conflict produced an almost endless array of accusations, retractions and counter-accusations — a roundelay of finger-pointing. Buried on a back page on Sept. 6, The Times published a correction regarding the alleged composite photograph of cattle grazing in front of the state capitol building: 𠇊 North Dakota newspaper has publicly retracted its charges that a WPA photographer �ked” a drought picture in Bismarck…” The cattle estavam in front of the North Dakota capitol the photograph had não been faked. One picture had not been combined with another. The report of the fake had been a fake. And yet, once the faked photograph had been re-baptized as an “honest” photo, the claims against it started all over again. On Sept. 9, The Times published an article, “[The Fargo Forum] Denies Retracting WPA �ke’ Charge, Paper Again Attacks Drought Picture, saying Cattle Have Always Grazed at Capitol.”

The Fargo Forum has not retracted the charge that the cattle picture was a drought fake. “It was a drought fake and is a drought fake.” The newspaper then relates the history of the picture, which it at first believed to be the result of superimposing one shot on another, then discovered it to be an actual shot of dairy cattle owned by a Bismarck dairyman which frequently meander through the Capitol grounds. The Capitol is bordered on three sides by open farming and ranch land. Watchman for years have had the job of chasing wandering cows away from the building. “The Fargo Forum was wrong when it said that the cattle picture was the result of superimposing one picture on another. It was wrong and it said so. That did not alter the status of the picture as a fake one whit.”

The Fargo Forum first charged that the picture was created by combining two pictures. And was fake for naquela reason. Then, when it became clear that the photograph was 1 picture – not two pictures blended together — the argument changed. The picture was not a picture of drought because cattle had sempre grazed on the land surrounding the Capitol building — in good years e in drought years. The picture had been taken during a good year. So it becomes a fake by virtue of its caption rather than the hands-on manipulation of the image. If people object to an inference that can be made (properly or improperly) from a photograph — that there is a drought — then they will find fault with the photograph itself.

The argument that photographs of typical conditions were recast as evidence of drought was also an issue with Rothstein’s skull photographs. An editorial in The New York Sun (Sept. 8) reported that “one of our readers has done a post-mortem on the skull.”

The wrinkled condition at the base of the horns of this bleached skull clearly indicates that the animal was very old. It probably died of old age in some winter blizzard. Its bleached condition shows that it has been out in the weather three years or more. As an exhibit of the effect of the drought in western North Dakota it is clearly a fake.

What makes these accusations of photo-fakery utterly perverse is the claim that they unfairly portrayed a drought. The photographs led the viewer to infer that the Dakotas were experiencing a drought. But the Dakotas estavam experiencing a drought. One of the worst droughts in American history. Was the real issue that the cow had died of old age rather than drought? Or that the cow skull had been moved less than 10 feet, as Rothstein later claimed? Or had been moved at all? Or that multiple photographs had been taken? Or was it merely an attempt to shift the nature of the debate from the agricultural problems facing the country to an argument about photography and propaganda [4]?

Photographic controversies notwithstanding, F.D.R. won by a landslide. He collected over 60 percent of the popular vote and carried every state but Maine and Vermont. One reporter remarked, “It’s no longer as Maine goes, so goes the nation it’s as Maine goes, so goes Vermont.” Now over 70 years since the 1936 cow skull controversies, the debate continues about photography and propaganda. None of these issues have been laid to rest. Far from it. Claims of posing, false captioning, and faking regularly appear in much the same way as they appeared in the 1930s. Clearly, Photoshop is not the causa of these controversies. They predate Photoshop and other modern means of altering photographs by more than a half century. But they allow us to ask an important question. What can we of the Great Recession learn from the photographs of the Great Depression?

[ 1] In 1935, when the Resettlement Administration was established, there were almost 7 million farms in the U.S. These were small family farms. Less than 10 percent had electricity, Programs such as the Rural Electrification Administration and Resettlement Administration had a dramatic impact on the quality of rural life. Focused initially on emergency relief, the Resettlement Administration experimented with a range of programs to aid farmers in dire situations. The R.A. made small loans to carry farmers get through difficult times, built, migrant worker camps, constructed rural water projects, purchased conservation land and resettled displaced farmers on new land. There were those who opposed these government interventions and questioned their cost and efficacy. After the 1936 election, the agency, perhaps in response to critics, was renamed the Farm Security Administration. According to Beverly Brannan, Curator of Photography at the Library of Congress, in her book 𠇏.S.A. The American Vision”: “Over the project’s eight years its administrators and photographers were not only documenting but contributing to a paradigm shift. Between 1935 and 1943 the American economy completed a transition in its economic base — from traditional agriculture to mass culture, mechanization, and corporate structure — and in its focus — from individual subsistence to mass mobilization for international warfare.”

[ 2] “The Plow That Broke the Plains” and “The River” are available with the re-recorded original music on a Naxos DVD.

[ 3] Notes from Rothstein’s itinerary suggest that the photographs were taken on May 24th. Even though the photograph was not taken at the height of the drought, the drought was clearly anticipated by the government. On April 29, Henry A. Wallace, Secretary of Agriculture, reported the Federal Government was preparing itself for action in the event of another great drought year like 1934. On May 24 (the same day that Rothstein photographed the skull), The Times reported that “…general rains are needed over a large part of the spring wheat areas. Special attention is being given to the territory between the Red River on the eastern boundary of Minnesota and the Dakotas and the Missouri River. Reviewing the moisture situation, Nat C. Murray, statistician for Clement Curtis & Co. says in percentage of rainfall for the first three weeks of May has been approximately 36 percent in South Dakota…”

[ 4] Photography seems to bring out the amateur epistemologist in us all. Isn’t it odd and ironic that many of the recent debates concerning faked photographs have concerned inferences made from photographs which turn out to be true? The faked photograph of the launching of the Iranian missiles telegraphed the idea that Iran was launching missiles that could threaten Israel and the West. One of the missiles and several clouds of smoke had been 𠇌loned” into the photograph with Photoshop. The photograph was a fake. But without the additional missile, the photograph would have made a similar point. It is that element of manipulation which has become the source of controversy, particularly when the viewer is “manipulated” into believing something they already believe. These issues are discussed in my earlier Times essay, “Photography as a Weapon.”

Editor’s note: The governor of North Dakota in 1936 was Walter Welford, not Wallace Welford. And it was the Burlington Iowa Hawkeye that we meant. Both errors have been corrected.

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Farm finance was the subprime of the 1920s. Murray Rothbard, in his book “The Great Depression” chronicles how the loose credit of the twenties, designed primarily to benefit Wall Street created a boom in unsustainable agriculture investment, especially in the marginal wheat producing areas of the upper midwest. He goes on to chronicle how the Hoover and Roosevelt Administration efforts to support prices further stimulated overproduction. The manipulations of credit and prices by the Fed and the Feds in the twenties and early thirties may have contributed to the drying of the Dustbowl. Rothbard winds a terrific yarn that can be enjoyed by anyone attracted to this story of deceit and counter deceit.

The problem was the same in 1936, as today, as when Jesus lived – people need an image. Today it is even stronger. People don’t know something happened until they see a picture. A picture is what defines what happened, not reality. No where is this more clear than on Facebook. As appears in a great discussion on Facebook photos, people need to take pictures of every second of their lives in order to know they are alive, otherwise they are not sure: //www.pandalous.com/topic/ubiquitous_facebook

Recently returned from Fotozentrum Winterthur (Zürich) and the exhibition �rk Side II’ – images of death.

The iconic ‘Valley of Death’ was there, a direct contact print. Odd impression: after Mr. Morris’ first outing in the uncover-the-fraud mode, the largest force in this photograph, largest, that is, when one stands in front of the actual print and may examine it closely and at leisure, has nothing at all to do with the tangential (and one ultimately concludes useless) suppositions of which came first and of what reality they report.

After all: a photograph does not convey Truth. But only, and always, and absolutely a stunning record of surface appearances.

Nothing more. That is the arena of the mind of the viewer.

Whether or not cannonballs were carried from here to there, or a cow-skull brought from place to place to perform it’s role in multiple venues is irrelevant.

A photograph merely reminds one of what some thing sort of looked like. And – more importantly and surely more expressively – does so with a visual force peculiar to photography, and specific to the particular place and time of each individual exposure.

Uau. So what you’re saying is, if you “know” what the truth is, you’re entitled to fake evidence of that truth for presentation to others?

So since the Bush administration “knew” Saddam Hussein had WMD, what they should have done was concoct photographic evidence of it after the fact? That would have been an ethical thing to do?

There is no one so sure of the truth that he is entitled to lie to prove that truth. Período.

Modified photos that tell the truth are right up there with Winston Churchill’s great speeches delivered by a surrogate and the aliases that the Soviet elite used once established in power. I wonder how Americans would have responded to the comics’ Superman character if they had known ‘Stalin’ was an alias meaning — approximately — ‘Man of Steel’.

Was 𠇋lood, sweat and tears” less meaningful because an actor read the lines, and not Churchill himself ?

This was long before digital photography and photoshop… today almost every picture is put in question. Years ago, cropping certain scenes could alter a picture. I recall, when Senator “Scoop” Jackson was running for President, and the angle of a photograph used in newspapers made it look like he was speaking to only a few people, where as from another angle showed it was actually a much larger crowd. During the Army/ McCarthy hearing in the 1950s, showed a photograph of G.David Shine getting a medal pinned on him by a General… and his boyfriend Roy Cohen cropped out of the staged photo.
There’s an old adage… don’t always believe everything you read in the newspapers… but they forgot to warn us about the pictures,too! Years ago, especially during WWll, there were rumors that the Associated Press, was a government owned wire service, like Tass in the former Soviet Union.

Operating on the dictum that 𠇊 picture is worth a thousand words,” photography captures the way things feel as much as the way things are.

Looking at the photos as symbols of the times, makes the arguments about photographic validity just sideshows for Republicans, whose tactics are to misdirect attention from the big issues (the suffering of farmers then the suffering of the middle/lower classes now) by nit-picking details instead of facing reality.

Photography’s relationship to truth has played a large role in is usage. That the government didn’t use an illustration to depict the drought but instead used a photograph cant be glossed over by the fact that what the photograph referenced what was true even though the elements within the photograph were not. This is what propaganda is all about. If the government had used an illustration we wouldn’t be having this debate. What to seems to be the real debate is whether propaganda is acceptable when its goals are good. In the early 20th century this argument was deemed acceptable but was later discredited.

John @ #2, you made me laugh out loud – I have been saying the same thingfor years, that people nowadays don’t seem to think they exist except in the eye of the beholder.

The lessons of the past are beautifully illustrated and just as relevant to today’s concerns about climate.

The political less here is that if you want to ‘win’ on some issue, be the first to lie about it. Nobody seems to care whether you have “misrepresented” (the popular term for lying these days) something or made a mistake as long as what you have said aligns with their previously held convictions and opinions. We are a country that no longer debates in order to persuade, we shout in order to drown out. The first lie is the one that is remembered, and not as a lie but as a framing condition for everything that follows, and thus has the most impact. We have, and continue to, plunge further and deeper into tyranny, having come so corrupted as to be incapable of any other form of self-government [a slightly modified quote from Benjamin Franklin].

If I am staging it, or I am altering it to convey a message, it is ART – if I am taking a snapshot, I am engaging in photojournalism. I also understand the “truth” of a shot comes from your perspective – a 10 foot tree can look like a sequoia if you jam the lens up close enough to the trunk.

The question one must ask is: had a reader/viewer been told an image was a composite, artist’s rendering or representation of an event, would it have lost the essential truth? Or was someone trying to get something they could not have – ‘visual proof’ of their assertion. Put another way, would it be OK for me, a Christian, to ‘render’ a photograph of Christ’s resurrection (because I know it to be true) and call it a newly discovered miracle? Of course not! I𠆝 be lying to prove an essential truth – I𠆝 call that ‘irony with extreme prejudice’.

Like everything, it gets down to my intentions, my ethics, and my integrity: I can rationalize all the good intentions I want, but if I put my intentions before my integrity and ethics, I have already thrown in the moral towel.

Rothstein talked about his dismay over the misuse of the photo–the photographers had no control over how their photos were used. Based on this he made sure that as a commercial photojournalist he copywrited not just the photos, but the titles and legends that went with them.

P.S. I met him shortly before his death he knew my mother when they were college students and photographed her for his first photo contest submission.

“What makes these accusations of photo-fakery utterly perverse is the claim that they unfairly portrayed a drought. The photographs led the viewer to infer that the Dakotas were experiencing a drought. But the Dakotas were experiencing a drought.”

Reminds me of the “Memogate” controversy of a few years back, when Bill Burkett supplied documents that reflected on George Bush’s disgraceful behavior as a member of the Texas Air National Guard. When the documents were exposed as fakes all the controversy this exposure caused distracted people from what was obvious: that Bush had indeed joined the Guard as a means of avoiding dangerous service in Vietnam.

Good article. And it’s nice for once to see a long piece posted as a single continuous column, without those pointless jumps to “next page.” Maybe the Times has finally figured out that cyberspace is different from newsprint.

Interesting and quite applicable to today’s political issues. Regardless of the mistakes and intentional propagada in some of these stories the controversy distracted voters from the real issues. A terrible drought was occurring (no one seriously doubted that), and people were suffering tragically. Instead of debating if and how to address this need, the laissez-faire Republicans attempted to divert the attention to side issues that were miniscule in comparison.

All this reminds this reader of the debates about 𠇏reedom fries,” the Terry Schiavo diagnosis via videotape, ACLU cards, Swiftboats, flag lapel pins, terrorist fist bumps, etc. When you are unwilling to address real problems that are hurting people…”look over here, the gays are trying to outlaw straight marriage.”

I wait patiently for what I like to call 𠇎rroll Morris adventures.” In a seven part series, what twists and turns can we expect. I love this stuff!!

“So it becomes a fake by virtue of its caption rather than the hands-on manipulation of the image. If people object to an inference that can be made (properly or improperly) from a photograph — that there is a drought — then they will find fault with the photograph itself.”

“What makes these accusations of photo-fakery utterly perverse is the claim that they unfairly portrayed a drought. The photographs led the viewer to infer that the Dakotas were experiencing a drought. But the Dakotas were experiencing a drought.”

Not completely sure I understand this. I take it that, in at least one clear sense of “properly,” the inference was properly made. And, as you point out, the inference, so made, actually led to the truth – there was a drought. I take it that the objections to the inferences, despite all that, was not so much that they were improperly made (what reasonable person, given the look of the photographs, and their captions, wouldn’t have thought that there was drought?), nor so much that they actually led to the truth (of course everyone wants to know if there really was drought or not), but rather that they improperly led to the truth, despite having done so through a reasonable/proper inference. I’m not sure, but you seem to think that objecting in this manner is obviously “perverse.” I hope in the next parts you’ll say why because I really fail to see what’s perverse about it.

There’s no need to call anything “propaganda” here (whether there is a need seems to be a separable issue) in order to see that there’s something objectionable about arriving at what is admittedly (on hindsight) the truth, and even via a reasonable inference, but in such a way as to have arrived at it completely accidentally. And there is something especially objectionable *if* the printing of the photograph was a designed attempt to get us to the truth merely accidentally. The printing of the photograph, if it was an attempt to distribute knowledge, was a failure to do so. And if it wasn’t an attempt to distribute knowledge, that is also a failure (the question of whether it was propaganda would then take off from there). What’s perverse about pointing this out?

Perhaps you are suggesting that its perverse to infer from the fact that the printing of the photos, along with their captions, was in some way objectionable( because it was, suppose, designed to get people to make the above objectionable inference) to the idea that, somehow, the photographs *themselves* were faulty. That may be perverse, but only because it’s perverse to find fault “in the photographs themselves.” What could that even mean? We’re not looking at the photographs as if in a museum, in which (maybe) they’re faulted “in themselves,” but rather as in a courtroom, in which their faulted *as evidence* and in which their exhibitors are faulted if they are not responsibly exhibiting the photographs as evidence. But isn’t it clear the objectors here were thinking of the photographs in the latter way? I am really having a hard time understanding what at all is perverse about the objections here.

I was watching a documentary from Netflix, 𠇋rother, Can You Spare a Dime?,” and the very clear relationship between Roosevelt and Obama was an eye popper.

The movie was put together in the 70s, and has no voiceover. Every now and then you get a title card, but otherwise it is all news reels and popular movies, radio broadcasts and songs. So, it wasn’t like a movie maker was trying to make a connection between Roosevelt and Obama. It just naturally happens. The footage of Roosevelt on the campaign trail is amazing. What a public speaker! They had footage of him giving a variation of his One Third of a Nation speech. Not the polite one given at the inauguration, but a spanker given on the trail. You could see that he really felt what he was saying. As he listed the One Third going to bed hungry, the one third not going to school, the one third unemployed, etc, each time he𠆝 strike the podium with his fist and say “Right now!”

Where it was most apparent was when he was campaigning for Social Security. The resistance was just as huge (and came from the same places) as we now experience about Helath Care Reform. Roosevelt gets down close to the mic and he says “when someone tells you ‘now just isn’t the time to do this just wait a little and we’ll do it right there are better ways to do this than through the government’ they are lying to you.”

It was hard to see the misery a lot of people lived through, and the way political groups tried to leverage that misery to achieve an end. FDR comes up aces with me — and he pushed his agenda from the start of his administration. The times called for it. As they do now.

Então,
On a related topic, When I see a first-down line when watching a football game, I know it is fake, and it actually enhances the viewing experience, giving me more information about the situation. But when the same technology is used and I see an advertisement behind the batter at a baseball game, it is neither a true representation of what is occurring at the park, nor does it enhance the experience, it merely add’s to the wealth of the broadcaster. This leads me to the conclusion, that if the enhancement does not detract, and truthfully adds to the information that is transmitted by the photo, then I am okay with it.

reminds me of what one of my old college professors, bill jay, had told us. photographs are not real. all photographs. they are not the thing themselves. they are simply 2 dimensional representations of something we𠆝 like others to see. throw in a caption to further convey your message, and presto, propaganda.

Very cool, Mr. Morris. You have a unique and nimble mind.

Every photograph is a point of view, an interpretation. Each time a photo is framed the photographer has cropped out the rest of the scene, world. The photographer has chosen the angle, the light (in many instances), the subject, the exposure, and the focus any of which can tilt a viewer’s response. If the photo is of a person and the person is aware of the photographer then that person is relating to the camera in a particularly chosen way. There is no absolute truth in a photo. For me the truth exists as a resonance between the photographer, the subject, and the viewer. My truths are found through a preponderance of evidence and an open mind. Never would I rely on a single source for an informed conclusion. In this case the photos are part of a larger story with a great deal of evidence lack of rainfall, extreme temperatures, written observation, a stricken populace (praying for rain). The photos are illustrations of the calamity. They are attempts to distill months of pain into a single image. To me what is disingenuous is the newspapers creating controversy. Headline—𠇍rought Counterfeiters Get Our Dander Up”. The drought was real.

A few years ago Bush posed next to a big juicy looking turkey at a Thanksgiving Dinner being served to troops in Iraq. It later turned out the Turkey was an inedible prop, and the soldiers were being served prepackaged turkey slices. Almost no one was outraged by this, certainly no one on the right. How far we’ve come, but in what direction?

I love the photo at the top (which goes unmentioned in the related article) showing FDR standing. It even shows FDR’s shadow in the window behind him, but HE HAS NO LEGS!

A fake photo for sure, since FDR was likely in his wheelchair, but was it a fraud or just journalistic license? We can assume that FDR was really on the platform, just seated or standing with a cane.


History / Biographical Note

Biografia

A prominent American photographer and photojournalist of the twentieth century, Arthur Rothstein was born on July 17, 1915 in New York, New York. The youngest son of Latvian immigrants, he grew up in the Bronx and attended Stuyvesant High School. He took his undergraduate degree at Columbia College (BA, Chemistry, 1935), where he developed an interest in the technical aspects of photography and was a founding member of the Columbia University Camera Club. Upon graduation Rothstein was hired as a lab assistant and photographer by Roy Stryker, a Columbia economist and head of the Resettlement Administration's Historical Section. Stryker had been asked by colleagues in the Roosevelt administration to form a group of documentary photographers to work within what became known as the Farm Security Administration. In addition to Rothstein, FSA photographers included Jack Delano, Walker Evans, Dorothea Lange, Russell Lee, Carl Mydans, Gordon Parks, John Vachon, and Marion Post Wolcott, among others. The work of these photographers was circulated nationally, and did much to crystallize public attention on impoverished conditions in both rural and urban America.

In October 1935, Rothstein completed his first field assignment, photographing evicted farmers in the Blue Ridge Mountains of Virginia. The following year, he traveled to the Midwest to document the large-scale human and environmental devastation of the Dust Bowl, producing what would soon become iconic photographs of tenant farm families and drought-stricken land. Subsequent FSA projects resulted in a diverse and prolific body of work, including images of Pittsburgh steel workers, African-American tenant farmers at Gee's Bend, Alabama, Western ranchers and cowhands, rural schoolchildren, Manhattan skyscrapers, and snow-covered New England landscapes.

Speaking about his tenure with the FSA in a 1964 interview, Rothstein likened his photographic approach to "the unobtrusive camera," or "the idea of becoming a part of the environment that people are in to such an extent that they're not even aware that pictures are being taken."

In 1940, Rothstein joined the staff of the popular periodical Look, and also traveled internationally under the auspices of various organizations and institutions over the course of the decade. During World War II, he served as a photo officer for the United States Army Signal Corps in China, Burma, and India. In 1946, he worked in China as a photographer for the United Nations Relief and Rehabilitation Administration, documenting primarily conditions of famine as well as Jewish refugee camps.

Over the following decades, Rothstein continued his career with LOOK magazine, having been named its director of photography in 1946. After LOOK ceased publication in 1971, Rothstein worked as an editor and director of photography at Parade magazine.

Rothstein was an active writer, researcher, and teacher, holding positions on the faculties of the Columbia University Graduate School of Journalism, the School of Public Communications at Syracuse University, Mercy College, and Parsons School of Design. In the 1960s and 1970s, he dedicated considerable professional energies to researching color and three-dimensional photography, helping develop the Xograph printing process for three-dimensional images.

Among his publications include: Photojournalism (American Photographic Book Co., 1956), Creative Color in Photography (Clifton Books, 1963), Look at Us, Let's See Here We Are… (with William Saroyan, Cowles, 1967), Color Photography Now (American Photographic Book Co., 1970), The Depression Years (Dover, 1978), Arthur Rothstein: Words and Pictures (Amphoto/Billboard Publications, 1979), American West in the Thirties (Dover, 1981), Arthur Rothstein's America in Photographs, 1930-1980 (Dover, 1984), and Documentary Photography (posthumously, Focal Press, 1986).

Rothstein died on November 11, 1985 in New Rochelle, New York.

Arthur Rothstein and Richard Doud, "Arthur Rothstein Talks with Richard Doud [original transcript, 1964]," Archives of American Art Journal 17, no. 1 (1977): 19-23.

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