Lemax Farm Project: An FSA Icon Recaptured

September 12, 2014  •  Leave a Comment

I was really delighted when a conservation group working with the Preservation Trust of Vermont and The Upper Valley Land Trust, approached me about photographing a historic Vermont farm that was originally featured in the Farm Security Administration's (FSA) iconic catalog of photography of rural American life in the 1920s and 1930s. This first image is FSA photographer Arthur Rothstein's beautiful 1936 photograph of the big barn on the Lemax Farm, which made the cut to be featured in the final collection.

The Lemax Farm today is still a working farm where the current owners, the Meachums, raise Holstein cattle for milk. Unfortunately however, the vast historic barn and some of the related structures on the farm are badly in need of some expensive restoration. This is where the local group of conservationists comes in. If they are able to raise $40,000 by October 1st, they will be eligible for an additional $20,000 in grant funding from the State Historic Barn Program, but they need to have the $40,000 in hand by October 1st to qualify for the grant.

To this end, the group have developed a fundraising campaign for the restoration work and I was given the assignment of photographing this historic farm for the campaign. I was really thrilled to have the opportunity to be a small part of this campaign, not only because I got to photograph a historic FSA landmark, but also because I have close family ties to the community of Hartland VT, through my wife who was raised there. 

The Lemax Barn, Hartland VTThe Lemax Barn, Hartland VTThis carefully prepared monochrome image recalls the original 1936 view of the historic Lemax Barn captured by Arthur Rothstein for the FSA's iconic photography collection depicting life in rural America in 1920s and 1930s.

The profits from all sales of this print before October 1st 2014, will benefit the campaign to restore the Lemax Barn to its former glory, so act now!
You can see the beautiful proposal that the campaign created here on the  Friends of Lemax Farm Facebook page, and to help raise the $40,000 that the campaign needs by October 1st, I will be donating all profits from the sales of a black and white print that recalls the original 1936 Rothstein photograph.

© New England Image


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