You see the girl--that's effect one. You see the ad [the blond woman]--that's effect two. But the third effect is when you see both images together and recognize the irony.

Arthur Rothstein understood and believed in the power of photography to make social commentary. Working for the United States government, Rothstein photographed Artelia Bendolph in Alabama, to illustrate the effects of the Bankhead-Jones Farm Tenancy Act of 1937. The serious, weighted expression on the child's face poignantly illustrates her disenfranchised social and economic position. The framing of the crude cabin window and the newspaper insulation with its unattainable food advertisements reinforce her isolation from the recovering American economy.


  • Title: Girl at Gee's Bend
  • Creator: Arthur Rothstein
  • Date Created: 1937
  • Physical Dimensions: 40 × 49.7 cm (15 3/4 × 19 9/16 in.)
  • Type: Print
  • External Link: Find out more about this object on the Museum website.
  • Medium: Gelatin silver print
  • Terms of Use: Open Content
  • Number: 84.XP.686.21
  • Culture: American
  • Credit Line: The J. Paul Getty Museum, Los Angeles
  • Creator Display Name: Arthur Rothstein (American, 1915 - 1985)
  • Classification: Photographs (Visual Works)

Get the app

Explore museums and play with Art Transfer, Pocket Galleries, Art Selfie, and more

Flash this QR Code to get the app
Google apps