Marion Post Wolcott
1910 - 1990 · United States
A powerful force in photography who has only risen to international notoriety in recent history, American photographer Marion Post Wolcott conjured some of the most compelling scenes of the American working class in the 1930s and 1940s.
Wolcott was particularly interested in the transitions occurring in the United States between the rural and the urban, between the old and the new. What is most striking about her images is the intimacy she was able to capture in so many of her frames. This closeness between viewer and subject, combined with the subtle exposure of each composition, result in photographs that resonate as much today as they did almost a century ago.
Born in Montclair, New Jersey, Wolcott attended New York University as well as the University of Vienna. She returned to New York in the 1930s and became a freelance photographer for leading magazines of the day, including Life. In the later years of the decade, she was recommended for a position with the Farm Security Administration, a post she held until 1942 when she set her career aside for her role as a mother. She returned to freelance photography toward the end of the 1960s, a point at which acclaim for her work was beginning to rise. New York’s Museum of Modern Art held a solo exhibition of Wolcott’s work in 1962, and in 1991 she was lauded with the Society of Photographic Education’s Lifetime Achievement Award.