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Religion in American Society Exhibit Displayed at UW Through March

February 3, 2009
Woman with two children
Religion in America -- Dorothea Lange's "Migrant Mother" is among images in a series of photographs depicting religion in American currently on display in the University of Wyoming Classroom Building west entrance lounge. (Photo Courtesy of Library of Congress)

A series of photographs showing the place of religion in American society will be on display through March 23, in the University of Wyoming Classroom Building west entrance lounge.

The UW Department of Religious Studies, along with others, sponsors "Picturing Faith: Religious America in Government Photography, 1935-1943." The exhibit is curated by Colleen McDannell, University of Utah Sterling M. McMurrin Professor of Religious Studies.

She will present a free public lecture Thursday, Feb. 12, at 5:10 p.m. in Room 133 of the Classroom Building. Refreshments will follow the lecture.

The Historical Division of the Farm Security Administration in 1935 began making a photographic survey of economic struggle and social dislocation in Depression-era America. The resulting "sociologists with cameras" entered the homes and churches of the poor and also the middle class.

They photographed people in prayer, domestic shrines, dinner graces, parishioners going into their churches, revival meetings, and even the gospel trucks of itinerant preachers. Picturing faith in the exhibit's series of photographs shows the place of religion in American society through the lens of some of America's most well-known photographers such as Walker Evans, Dorothea Lange and Gordon Parks.

"Picturing Faith also presents the works of equally talented but lesser-known photographers such as John Collier, Jr., Marion Post Wolcott, Russell Lee, Jack Delano and Marjory Collins.

Also sponsoring the exhibit are the Wyoming Humanities Council, UW Foundation, the Office of Academic Affairs, the College of Arts and Sciences, the American Heritage Center, the Department of History, the African American Studies Program, the Master of Fine Arts Program, the American Studies Program, the Department of Art, the Chicano Studies Program, the Women's Studies Program and the Art Museum.

For more information, contact Quincy Newell, UW Department: Religious Studies assistant professor at (307) 766-2144 or e-mail

Posted on Tuesday, February 03, 2009

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