Depression, pandemic photographs paired in Ohio exhibit

LANCASTER, Ohio (AP) — An exhibit in Ohio pairing photographs from two moments of societal crisis — the Great Depression and the COVID-19 pandemic — aims to help visitors see parallels between the human tolls felt across generations.

The show, “Chronicles: The Great Depression and the Pandemic,” opens Saturday at the Decorative Arts Center of Ohio and runs through Aug. 28.

It couples images of day-to-day life gathered by 10 Depression-era photographers and five contemporary Ohio photographers.

The 1930s photographers — including Dorothea Lange, Esther Bubley, Jack Delano, Russell Lee, Carl Mydans, Gordon Parks, John Vachon and Ben Shahn — were hired by the U.S. government Works Progress Administration’s Farm Security Administration.

The Ohio photographers are Autumn Bland, Donald Black, Jr., Angelo Merendino, Jane Alden Stevens and Shane Wynn. Their pictures document the ravages of the coronavirus across different social and economic groups.

Special events tied to the exhibit include a talk with co-curators Christine Fowler Shearer and Arnold Tunstall on Sunday, a history lecture on the WPA, an artist talk with Wynn and classes on smartphone photography and enhancing your Instagram account.