The Missouri Photo Workshop maintains the world’s longest continuous photographic archive of rural America. Now, you have a chance to explore this treasure of documentary photography.
Between September and December at the MPW photography exhibit, “Small Towns, Big Stories”
The State Historical Society of Missouri, 605 Elm Street, Columbia, Mo.
What is this?:
A carefully curated selection of over 120 images from 51 towns will be on display depicting small-town life and its changes over the last 75 years.
The Missouri Photo Workshop is sponsoring this program in partnership with the Missouri Humanities and with support from the Missouri Humanities Trust Fund.
Why is this important?
In the late 1940’s, Cliff Edom, founder of the workshop and father of photojournalism education, was inspired by the gritty documentary photography of the Farm Security Administration. By enlisting the FSA photo director Roy Stryker, and later FSA photographers Russell Lee and Arthur Rothstein as guides, the Missouri School of Journalism’s famous photojournalism program created what has become a watershed moment in many photographers’ lives. To experience the rigor of finding and photographing a story through one of the most renowned photography programs in the world provides lessons for both the photographers and the residents of Missouri.
MPW is groundbreaking. There was no precedent for this kind of workshop. The rawness of this great experiment is evident in the early photography. Through the careful work of Cliff Edom, he created what amounts to a family album of Missourians, showcasing photographs from 51 towns.
This is Missouri’s photo album, built on the credo “Truth with a camera.”
Missouri Humanities with support from the Missouri Humanities Trust Fund; Millers Professional Imaging; Canon; Missouri Press Association
For interviews, use of images, feature stories and other coverage ideas, contact:
Brian Kratzer, co-director of the Missouri Photo Workshop at: