The Photo League: Views of Urban Experience in the 1930s and 1940s
The Photo League offered photography classes. It also held exhibitions of photography and organized lectures by well-known figures in the world of photography. It published a newsletter, Photo Notes, that contained articles, reviews, and announcements related to significant issues and events in art, politics, and photography. A close reading of Photo League images reveals consistently an underlying concern for urban living conditions. The reflections on American urban experience found in the images provide a multifaceted view of life in the city, based on issues of housing, employment, race, and gender. A study of the images indicates that through photography, the League explored and attempted to define American urban life as they perceived it in the 1930s and 1940s. As they made these observations, members were also clearly aware of the social position of the photographer.