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American Coal: Russell Lee Portraits
  • Date: Thursday, March 21, 2024
  • Time: 7:00 pm
  • Location: Archivist's Reception Room at the National Archives Museum and Online

Authors Mary Jane Appel and Douglas Brinkley will discuss how in 1946 the Truman administration made a promise to striking coal miners: as part of a deal to resume work, the government would sponsor a nationwide survey of health and labor conditions in mining camps. One instrumental member of the survey team was photographer Russell Lee. Lee had made his name during the Depression, when, alongside Dorothea Lange and Walker Evans, he used his camera to document agrarian life for the Farm Security Administration.  American Coal draws from the thousands of photographs that Lee made for the survey. Moderating the discussion will be Alice Kamps, Curator of the National Archives exhibit, Power & Light: Russell Lee’s Coal Survey.  A book signing will follow the program.

A reception will be offered prior to the program. The reception will begin at 6pm, with the program to follow at 7pm.
A book signing will follow the program.

This program will take place in the Archivist’s Reception Room, and guests should enter through the research entrance located at 700 Pennsylvania Avenue.

Power & Light: Russell Lee’s Coal Survey and programs presented in conjunction with the exhibit are made possible in part by the National Archives Foundation through the generous support of The Mars Family & Mars, Incorporated and Anonymous.