Hard Times, Oklahoma, 1939-40

The meaning of struggle.

Photo by Russell Lee. Image courtesy Philbrook Museum of Art.

Photo by Russell Lee. Image courtesy Philbrook Museum of Art.

Opens Sunday, July 27

The hardships of Oklahomans and their Dust Bowl brethren, forced to migrate to California during the Great Depression, are the powerful subjects of Hard Times, Oklahoma, 1939-40, a new photo exhibition opening Sunday, July 27, at Philbrook Museum of Art. Russell Lee documented the plight of farmers and their families, who went west because of economic, environmental and social turmoil. Beginning in 1936, he photographed for the Farm Security Administration. This collection was shot primarily in Oklahoma and makes plain the reality of “hard times” as families struggle for food, shelter and dignity in a world that seemed to turn its back on them. The exhibit continues through Oct. 26 at 2727 S. Rockford Road, Tulsa. For more, visit www.philbrook.org.