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1934 Print Pigs Skeleton Dust Bowl Great Plains Bourke-White Livestock Death FZ3

1934 Print Pigs Skeleton Dust Bowl Great Plains Bourke-White Livestock Death FZ3

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This is an original 1934 halftone print of pigs in a field during the Dust Bowl in the Great Plains. The caption writes, "In ditches, in the stubble, unburied and unlimed, the starved beasts lay, insulting the very nostrils of that sun which had brought them down. Farmers were under strict government orders to dispose of them. But farmers, for one reason and another, got pretty sick of the government as the summer wore on and were mostly too disheartened to stir anyhow..." The caption makes reference to the Agricultural Adjustment Act of 1933, created as a part of the New Deal to help raise the value of crops and meat. Farmers were asked to kill off their excess livestock, and to let a parcel of their field lie fallow.

The Dust Bowl (Dirty Thirties) lasted from 1930 to 1936, and caused severe drought which obliterated crops and topsoil. Due to poor irrigation techniques, and the failure to rotate crops, the wind easily eroded at the soil, and dust storms became so severe that they would blacken the sky at times. During the winter of 1934-1935, snow impregnated with red dust settled onto New England. Chicago, during 1933, had dust clouds blow in from the west, and an estimated 12 million pounds of dust were blown into the city. The Dust Bowl intensified the impact of the Great Depression, and displaced millions of people, causing the largest migration in American history in such a short amount of time.

Photography by Margaret Bourke-White. Bourke-White was born in the Bronx, New York. Her interest in photography was propelled by her father's love of cameras, and her quest for self-improvement. Bourke-White became the first female war correspondent, and the first female photographer for Life magazine. She became the staff photographer and associate editor for Fortune from 1929 to 1935. During World War II, she took images in the combat zones, and was the only foreign photographer in Moscow when the German forces invaded; she was able to capture the ensuing battle. She is known for her images of Gandhi, and Mohammed Ali Jinnah. Her images portray amazing depth, and wonderful contrast, and can be seen in the Brooklyn Museum, the Museum of Modern At, the Library of Congress, and the Cleveland Museum of Art.


This 77+ year old Item is rated Near Mint / Very Fine+. Light aging throughout. No creases. No natural defects. No surface rub. No tears. No water damage. Please note that there is print on the reverse.

  • Product Type: Original Halftone Print; Black / White
  • Grade: Near Mint / Very Fine+
  • Dimensions: Approximately 9.5 x 4 inches; 24 x 10 cm
  • Authentication: Serial-Numbered Certificate of Authenticity w/ Full Provenance
  • Protection: Packaged in a custom archival sleeve with an acid-free black board (great for display, gift-giving, and preservation)

Keywords specific to this image: farming, agricultural, agriculture, livestock, hogs, meat, animals, wildlife