Arthur Rothstein

American, 1915–1985

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Arthur Rothstein

American, 1915–1985

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Biography

Claiming, “photography is a universal language, transcending the boundaries of race, politics, and nationality,” Arthur Rothstein documented American life in black-and-white photographs both artful and direct. A founding member of the Photo League, he believed that documentary photography was a tool for social change. He began his career as a photographer with the Resettlement Administration (later the Farm Security Administration), bringing the Dust Bowl and the Great Depression into the public eye. During this time, he took his most iconic photograph, Dust Storm, Cimarron County, Oklahoma (1936), which became emblematic of the Dust Bowl. Rothstein served as a Signal Corps photographer during WWII, and documented the Great Famine in China in 1946–47. Back in the U.S., he spent the remainder of his career editing photographs for Look and Parade and teaching the craft he had mastered so beautifully.

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Career Highlights
Learn more about artist insights.
User
Solo show at a major institution
International Center of Photography (ICP)
Group
Group show at a major institution
The Museum of Modern Art (MoMA), and 4 more
Institution
Collected by a major institution
Museum of Modern Art (MoMA)
Publication
Reviewed by a major art publication
The Guardian
Biography

Claiming, “photography is a universal language, transcending the boundaries of race, politics, and nationality,” Arthur Rothstein documented American life in black-and-white photographs both artful and direct. A founding member of the Photo League, he believed that documentary photography was a tool for social change. He began his career as a photographer with the Resettlement Administration (later the Farm Security Administration), bringing the Dust Bowl and the Great Depression into the public eye. During this time, he took his most iconic photograph, Dust Storm, Cimarron County, Oklahoma (1936), which became emblematic of the Dust Bowl. Rothstein served as a Signal Corps photographer during WWII, and documented the Great Famine in China in 1946–47. Back in the U.S., he spent the remainder of his career editing photographs for Look and Parade and teaching the craft he had mastered so beautifully.

Career Highlights
Learn more about artist insights.
User
Solo show at a major institution
International Center of Photography (ICP)
Group
Group show at a major institution
The Museum of Modern Art (MoMA), and 4 more
Institution
Collected by a major institution
Museum of Modern Art (MoMA)
Publication
Reviewed by a major art publication
The Guardian