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Louise Rosskam (1910-2003)

Biographical Essay | Resources | Image Sampler



Prints and Photographs Division

LOT 858
Photographed by Louise Rosskam for the U.S. Office of War Information. Washington, D.C. May, 1943. Victory gardens in the Northwest section. 88 photographic prints.

LOT 1242
Photographed by Edwin and Louise Rosskam for the Farm Security Administration. Small towns and countryside in Vermont. July, 1940. 46 photographic prints.

LOT 13349
Selected prints by photojournalist Louise Rosskam and portraits of Rosskam taken by family and friends. 1935-1990. 20 photographic prints.

Louise Rosskam collection. 1990-2002. 15 photographic prints: color. Unprocessed in PR 13 CN 2003:023. Photographs of the contents of Rosskam's kitchen.

The Making of a Mural. Handmade photobook presented by photographer-editor Edwin Rosskam and Louise Rosskam to his mother, shows preparation of giant photomontage in Grand Central Station, NY, at the beginning of World War II. Unprocessed in PR 13 CN 1996: 043

The Library of Congress has six LOTS containing up to 155 photographs the Rosskams produced for Standard Oil. The exhibition quality prints and original negatives are at the University of Louisville which owns the reproduction rights.

LOT 11763
Edwin and Louise Rosskam, photographers. Operations of the Standard Oil Company refinery at Baton Rouge, La., Dec. 1943-Feb. 1944. 42 photographic prints.

LOT 11765
Edwin and Louise Rosskam, photographers. Standard Oil Company operations in wheat fields near Susank and Pratt, Kansas, June 1944. 8 photographic prints.

LOT 11766
Edwin and Louise Rosskam, photographers. Standard Oil Company operations in the Elk Basin oil fields, Wyoming, July 1944. 29 photographic prints.

LOT 11767
Edwin and Louise Rosskam, photographers. Standard Oil Company operations at Cut Bank, Montana, Aug. 1944. 18 photographic prints.

LOT 11770
Rosskam and others, photographers. Standard Oil Company's humble refinery at Baytown, Tex., largest in the United States, Jan.-Dec. 1944. 11 photographic prints.

LOT 11771
Rosskam and others, photographers. Standard Oil Company products and their uses, 1944-1946. 47 photographic prints.

At Other Institutions

The University of Louisville maintains the Standard Oil (New Jersey) 500,000 item collection (19443-1951) that includes the work of Edwin and Louise Rosskam.

Oral Histories

1965: Rosskam, Edwin and Louise. Interview at Archives of American Art, Aug. 3, 1965,

1979: Rosskam, Edwin and Louise. Transcript of an interview with Steve W. Plattner, March 31, 1979. Special Collections, Ekstrom Library, University of Louisville.

1996: Rosskam, Louise. Transcript of an interview by Beverly Brannan and Laura Katzman, May 28, 1996. Library of Congress, Center for the Book, New Deal Arts Project.

2000: Rosskam, Louise. Interview with Gary Saretzky, March 24, 2000. Monmouth County Library,

Selected Resources about Louise Rosskam

Fisher, Andrea. Let Us Now Praise Famous Women: Women Photographers for the U.S. Government, 1935-1944. New York: Pandora Press, 1987. Call Number: TR820.5.L48 1987

Graff, Nancy Price. Looking Back at Vermont: Farm Security Administration photographs, 1936-1942. Middlebury: Middlebury College Museum of Art; Hanover [N.H.]: Distributed by University Press of New England, 2002. Call Number: F54.G69 2002

Katzman, Laura, and Beverly W. Brannan. Re-viewing Documentary: The Photographic Life of Louise Rosskam. Washington, DC: American University Museum in association with Penn State University Press, 2011.

Lesy, Michael. Long Time Coming: A Portrait of America, 1935-1943. New York: W.W. Norton, 2002. Call Number: E169.L597 2002 FSA

Mora, Gilles, and Beverly W. Brannan, eds. FSA: The American Vision. New York: Harry N. Abrams, 2006. Call Number: TR820.5.B736 2006 P&P Ref FSA

Munoz Marin, Luis. Memorias Autobiografia Publica, 1898-1940, vol. 1. Puerto Rico: Universidad Interamericana, 1982.

Murphy, Mary. Hope in Hard Times: New Deal photographs of Montana, 1936-1942. Helena, Mont.: Montana Historical Society Press, 2003.

Nazarov, Amy Rogers. "A Life in Photography: Louise Rosskam and the Documentary Tradition," Photo Review. 28: 2, (2007), 8-12.

Plattner, Steven W. Roy Stryker, U.S.A., 1943-1950: The Standard Oil (New Jersey) Photography Project. Austin: University of Texas Press, 1983. TR820.5.P57 1983 FSA

Saretzky, Gary D. "Bliss on the Old Miss: The Rosskams and Towboat River." The Photo Review. 24: 1 and 24: 2 (Winter/Spring 2001) 6-16, 33-34.

---. "New Jersey in Transition: Louise Rosskam's Barn Photographs," New Jersey History 121: 1-4 (2003), 83-87.

---. "She Worked Her Head Off: Edwin and Louise Rosskam and the Golden Age of Documentary Photography Books." The Photo Review. 2: 3 (Summer 2000), 2-10; 51.

--- and Beverly W. Brannan, "In Passing," The Photograph Collector, 24: 6 (June 15, 2003), 11-12.

Schulz, Constance B., ed. Boom to Bust: Documentary Photographs of Kansas, 1936-1949. Lawrence, KS: University of Kansas, 1996. Call Number: F682.B87 1996 P&P Ref FSA

About Edwin and Louise Rosskam

Muse, Orene. "They Are Here Again--That Rosskam Photographic Team." Baton Rouge State-Times, July 13, 1945.

Weaver, Polly. "Two Montana Farmers." Mademoiselle 14 (March 1945): 153-55.

Articles that Feature Rosskam's Photographs

American Magazine issues with Louise's photos in "Interesting People" feature:
  • "Bottles Are His Messenger Buoys," vol. 134 (December 1942): 92.
  • "Millions for Dinner," vol. 136 (July 1943): 112.
  • "Boss of Your Dinner Table," vol. 136 (August 1943): 109.
  • "One Flag for 32 Nations," vol. 136 (August 1943): 110.
  • "Guns for the Underground," vol. 136 (September 1943): 124.
  • "Godfather to 7,500,000 Yanks," vol. 136 (November 1943): 121.
Other articles in The American Magazine illustrated with photographs by Louise Rosskam

Don Eddy, "Who Came Back," vol. 136 (November 1943): 44-45, 133: 135-36.

Chaplain William C. Taggart, "Your Prayers Are Answered," vol. 136 (July 1943): 17; 86-87; 90.

Resources by Edwin and Louise Rosskam

Rosskam, Edwin. "Camera Tales of the Town." The Philadelphia Record. Selections from December 1936 to September 1937.

  • "Crossing the Delaware." December 27, 1936, 18 (A).
  • "Rehearsal" [Eugene Ormandy and the Philadelphia Orchestra]. March 7, 1937.
  • "Luncheon at the Zoo." March 28, 1937, 12 (Pix).
  • "Campus Stroll." April 4, 1937, 12 (Pix).
  • "The [2d Battalion of the] 111th [Pennsylvania National Guard.]" April 18, 1937.
  • "The Art Museum." April 25, 1937.
  • [Backstage at the Chestnut Street Opera House]. May 9, 1937.
  • "Lime." July 18, 1937, 8 (Pix).
  • "Curtain!" September 12, 1937.

Rosskam, Edwin. Washington Nerve Center. New York and Toronto: Alliance Book Corporation, 1939. (Co-edited by Ruby Black, with an introduction by Eleanor Roosevelt.)

Rosskam, Edwin, with an introduction by William Saroyan. San Francisco: West Coast Metropolis. New York: Alliance Book, 1939.

Rosskam, Edwin, and Louise. Towboat River. New York: Duell, Sloan and Pearce, 1948.

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  August 29, 2011
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