An unemployed man sits on Michigan Avenue, Chicago

Mydans' main projects for the Resettlement Administration dealt with photographing urban and residential development and the impoverished dwellings they were replacing. In Chicago, he chose to focus on the human subject, the people whose lives were affected by the Great Depression. Chicago, which had seen an increase in industrial productivity during the 1920s, was hit hard by its consequences during the 1930s. Mydans' caption for this photograph reads: In the depths of the Great Depression, one quarter of the entire American workforce was unemployed. In Chicago, the number was nearly half. Here one of their number sits bowed under the Spring sun on Michigan Avenue, 1936...
Currently not on view
Object Name
Date made
Mydans, Carl
Physical Description
paper (overall material)
overall: 8 in x 10 in; 20.32 cm x 25.4 cm
place made
United States: Illinois, Chicago
ID Number
accession number
catalog number
Carl Mydans
See more items in
Culture and the Arts: Photographic History
Carl Mydans
Data Source
National Museum of American History, Kenneth E. Behring Center
Mydans, Carl. Carl Mydans, Photojournalist

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