Why ‘Roy Stryker’?

31898uWho is Roy Stryker and why is this photo project named for him?

I named this photography project in tribute to Roy Stryker, the FSA administrator who had the vision to create photographs of America during the Depression-era to ‘Show America to Americans’.

Stryker’s greatest contribution to the FSA’s photographic project was as a manager. The photographers involved attested to the fact that Stryker was expert at getting good work out of them. He made sure that the photographers were well briefed on their assigned areas before being sent out, and he ensured that they were properly funded.

Photographers hired by Stryker for the FSA included: Dorothea Lange, Arthur Rothstein, Walker Evans, Ben Shahn, John Vachon, Marion Post Wolcott, Russell Lee, Jack Delano, Gordon Parks, John Collier Jr, Carl Mydans, and Edwin and Louise Rosskam.

During World War II, the photographic unit of the FSA was reassigned to the Office of War Information (OWI) and put to more propagandistic uses for one year, and then disbanded. At the same time, the US Congress disbanded the FSA, and the holdings of the FSA’s photographic unit were transferred to the Library of Congress.

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