Sign In

If you forgot your login details, please contact us for assistance.


Exhibition Details

Exhibition Name:

Searching for the Seventies: The DOCUMERICA Photography Project

Description: Images of everyday life in 1970s America: disco dancing and inflation, protests and bell-bottoms, gas shortages and suburban sprawl. At a time when the war in Vietnam and the Watergate scandal wore on the national psyche, a burgeoning movement to protect our natural environment was gaining force.

In 1971, the newly established U.S. Environmental Protection Agency launched the DOCUMERICA Photography Project with the goal of documenting environmental troubles and triumphs across the country. Gifford Hampshire, the Project’s Director, envisioned a broad scope. Inspired by the Farm Security Administration's photography project of the 1930s and 40s, he encouraged his photographers to capture "the human connection" to the environment, from small towns in coal country to urban streetscapes. “Where you see people,” he told them, “there’s an environmental element to which they are connected.”

About 70 photographers, including Flip Schulke, John Corn, Danny Lyon, John H. White, and Lyntha Scott Eiler completed 115 separate assignments between 1972 and 1977. What emerged was a moving and textured portrait of America. Capturing a rapidly changing society with surprising resonances to the present, Searching for the Seventies: The DOCUMERICA Photography Project presents a sampling of images culled from a trove of thousands.

Searching for the Seventies: The DOCUMERICA Photography Project is a collaboration between SITES and the National Archives and Records Administration which now holds the original DOCUMERICA photographic materials and records. The archival records and some 22,000 slides, in addition to negatives, prints, and microfiche, are stored in the stacks of the National Archives in College Park, MD. You can browse through almost 16,000 of the DOCUMERICA images on the Archives' website and Flickr.
Category: History
Primarily Consists Of: Objects, 2-Dimensional (wall-mounted)
Cost: $5,250 plus outgoing shipping (reduced from $7,000)
Size: Approximately 350 running feet
Venue Length: 10 weeks
Availability: 11/18/2017 - 1/28/2018
Special Requirements: Climate and light control; gallery supervision; non-refundable deposit: $1,750
Previous Venues: Please visit our website for the full itinerary.
Organization: Smithsonian Institution Traveling Exhibition Service
Contact: Minnie Russell
Address: MRC 941, PO Box 37012, Washington, 20013 USA
Phone: 202-633-3160
Email: Please sign in to view email address.

« Back