The Photography of Jack Delano

April 2nd, 2020

Every now and then I like to feature the work of a somewhat unknown artist who I admire. My last one was painter Harry Sternberg, and this time it's photographer Jack Delano.

Photographer Jack Delano

Like Sternberg, I feel I share a common interest in subject matter with Delano, and have traveled to many of the same places - just in very different times and circumstances.

Jack Delano was born Jacob Ovcharov in 1914 in The Ukraine. His family migrated to America in 1923 and settled in Philadelphia where he studied art at The Academy of Fine Arts. At this time America was in the grips of both The Great Depression and agricultural crisis The Dust Bowl.  In response, the Roosevelt Administration established The Farm Security Administration (FSA) to combat rural poverty in America, and in 1940 Jack Delano took a job as an FSA photographer. Although the FSA photography program was merely intended to serve the public relations arm of the agency, the project yielded some of the most iconic photographs and famous photographers in American history.

Delano's time with the FSA was cut short when he was drafted into the Army in 1943 and served until the end of World War II. After the war, Delano and his wife moved to Puerto Rico where he remained involved in photography, film making and music until his death in 1997.  But it's his few years working with the FSA that interest me the most, and below are some of my favorites from that period.  Enjoy!

The Photography of Jack Delano
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