Image 'Girl at Gees Bend', 1937

TLF ID M008595

This is a black-and-white photograph of Artelia Bendolph, a member of an African American tenant farming family at Gee's Bend in Alabama, USA. The photograph was taken by Arthur Rothstein. Bendolph is portrayed looking out through an unglazed window. The open window shutter lined with sheets of newspaper is to the left and the girl and the window shutter are surrounded by the rows of rough-hewn logs that make up the walls of the family's cabin.

Educational details

Educational value
  • The photograph may also be of use for years 11 and 12 Modern History studies of the USA during the inter-war years and for year 9 History in relation to slavery and its aftermath. Gee's Bend, a 4000-hectare area of land enclosed on three sides by the Alabama River, had been a cotton plantation operated by slaves from 1816. In 1937 around 700 African-Americans, almost all descendants of the original slaves, rented or sharecropped the land from its white owners.
  • Photographs of the people and primitive conditions at Gee's Bend were taken for a political purpose. Photographer Arthur Rothstein worked for the Farm Security Administration (FSA), an agency in President Roosevelt's 'New Deal', and the FSA needed photographs of conditions in southern tenancy areas to illustrate the need for the agency's program. Gee's Bend was one of the worst areas, with the people having to build their houses out of mud and logs they cut themselves.
Year level

9; 10

Learning area
  • History

Other details

  • Contributor
  • Name: Education Services Australia
  • Organization: Education Services Australia
  • Description: Data manager
  • Address: VIC, AUSTRALIA
  • URL:
  • Person: Arthur Rothstein
  • Description: Photographer
  • Publisher
  • Name: The Library of Congress
  • Organization: The Library of Congress
  • Description: Publisher
  • Address: UNITED STATES
  • URL:
  • Name: Education Services Australia Ltd
  • Organization: Education Services Australia Ltd
  • Description: Publisher
  • Address: Vic, AUSTRALIA
  • URL:
  • Resource metadata contributed by
  • Name: Education Services Australia Ltd
  • Organisation: Education Services Australia Ltd
  • Address: AUSTRALIA
  • URL:
Access profile
  • Generic
Learning Resource Type
  • Image
  • © Commonwealth of Australia, 2010, except where indicated otherwise. You may copy, communicate and modify this material for non-commercial educational purposes provided you retain all acknowledgements associated with the material.