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Wash on the Lines, Bolton
Gelatin silver print
9 1/4 x 13 1/2 ins
Courtesy Bolton Metro Museums and Art Gallery, Bolton, England
Unlike the Farm Security Administration project, Mass-Observation was not interested in putting an affirmative face on things. Tom Harrisson thought it was important to include unobserved photography in his methodology because he "distrusted the value of mere words." Humphrey Spender had difficulty with this style because it eliminated human interaction between the photographer and the subject.
As quoted in Deborah Frizzell, Humphrey Spender's Humanist Landscapes: Photo-Documents, 1932-1942 (New Haven: Yale Center for British Art, 1997), 26.