Widtsoe One-Room School

I return to the Widtsoe school this morning with a wide view from the front.  A large bell would’ve once hung at the top of this building and I’m sure there’s still some folks around who recall hearing it.

I decided to vignette this piece, in part because I liked the way it worked with the image–but also because it echoes an unintended lens defect that exists in many of Dorothea Lange’s photographs of Widtsoe 75 years earlier.

Once again, here’s the link to the Library of Congress collection. Type the word “Widtsoe” into the search box, and on the next page click “Gallery View” and you’ll pull up her thumbnails:


My photograph was made with a Panasonic G3, with a wide converter attached to the 14mm lens.  

10 thoughts on “Widtsoe One-Room School

  1. I love Dorothea Lange – and all of those photographers working for the US government then. The record the saved is very important!
    When I looked at your shot I noticed the light vignette and it drew to mind the old, and sometimes fogged, photographs of the early years of photography. And yes Lang too! I like how you´ve placed the building in at the top of the frame – sort of nearly squeezed in – and how the eye is led up the scrub to it!


    1. It’s great to hear that you’ve got an interest in the photographers who worked for the government over here during the depression. It’s certainly an unusual niche in photography’s history. I had an uncle who was a mural painter for the FSA, but sadly, we’ve never been able to find out where his murals were located and if any still survive.

      Thanks your comments about the vignette. 🙂


        1. Yes–those were fertile years artistically. The Adams photographs are not well known, but they’re quite startling (and beautiful of course–they’re Adams prints after all ;))


  2. This has to be from 1935..The “Old Weird America” lives and this series of pictures are stirring testimony to its ongoing presence. Just don’t give directions!


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