chapter  23
14 Pages

Reconsidering images: using the Farm Security Administration photographs as objects in history exhibitions

As Edwards has postulated, the interpretive potential of images remains underutilised in museum exhibitions. Beginning with that premise, operating within the scope of history exhibitions, and using the Farm Security Administration photographs taken in the 1930s as an example, this chapter considers in practical terms the re-interpretation of photographic collections to engage more fully with their interpretive potential. Arguably, if photographs were more widely treated as objects within museums, if they were considered using the same criteria as three-dimensional objects, then aspects of their creation and use would be considered on par with their content. As will be discussed, to do so allows museums a great deal more scope for examining the ideas and debates of the eras from which these images emerge.