Friday, January 5, 2018

"Snowy Night": The Calm Before the Storm

Alas, winter is here in full force on the East Coast. We’ve only received a small amount of snow in the Washington, D.C., area, but the temperatures are brutal.  Still, other areas north of us have received a lot of snow and snow is on the minds of many people.

Whenever I think of the winter and snow, my mind immediately turns to the well-known photograph of Woodstock, Vermont, taken by Marion Post Wolcott and published in 1940.  Wolcott was noted for the many photographs that she took for the Farm Security Administration in the late 1930s and early 1940s; some of the most remarkable are those showing people living through the Great Depression, especially in the South.

But “Snowy Night” is my favorite photograph of all time.  Not only is there a beautiful stillness depicted, but for me this peacefulness comes on the cusp of another great war.  I can imagine families huddled around the radio listening to reports from Europe, perhaps wondering whether they and their children would eventually be affected.  

Of course, they were.  This town of 2,500 at the time would be touched as were thousands of others throughout the country.  Maybe it’s the historian in me, but this photograph represents the ultimate calm before the storm.

No comments:

Post a Comment

Note: Only a member of this blog may post a comment.