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Rondal Partridge: California Youth


In April 1940, Rondal Partridge, a young California photographer, documented the lives of youth in California for the National Youth Administration. This New Deal Network site features 25 of Partridge's "National Youth" photographs taken between 1936 and 1941, selected from the National Archives and Records Administration collection of Partridge's work. Many are from the late 1930s when Partrdige was an assistant to photographer Dorothea Lange. Also included is a gallery of nine photographs by Partridge's mother, Imogen Cunningham, who in the 1930s documented the homeless inhabitants of Oakland's tent cities. The galleries include brief (roughly 500 words) biographies of Partridge and Cunningham, and each photograph includes a title and the place and date taken.

The site also offers two creative teacher's guides and lesson plans for secondary school classrooms: one examines the depression through Partridge's photographs and the other provides a study of the art of photography. The lesson plans include skills; informational, and concept goals; materials needed for the sessions; links to photographs; procedures for group and individual activities; and advice notes and analytical questions to accompany each photograph. Though the information on this site is limited and provides little historical contextualization of the images, for those interested in photography and the Great Depression, this is a useful site.