• Two black and white photos - one of the 1937 sugarbeet harvest in the Red River Valley and the second is photographer Russell Lee

Roots of the Red River Valley

Exhibition “Roots of the Red River Valley: photographs from the 1937 sugarbeet harvest” Opens at UMN Crookston Monday, November 4, 2019.

Roots of the Red River Valley Poster - click to view PDF versionAn exhibition of photographs by Russell Lee, known for his captivating images of American ethnography and culture, will be on view at the University of Minnesota Crookston from November 4 through November 9, 2019. An exhibition opening for “Roots of the Red River Valley: photographs from the 1937 sugar beet harvest,” brought together by UMN Crookston staff Ken Mendez, Megan Beck Peterson, and student Lauren Wallace, will take place on Monday, November 4. A brief introduction will take place at 7 p.m. in Bede Ballroom, Sargeant Student Center followed by a viewing. All are welcome to attend, parking is free, and refreshments will be provided.

More than 80 images tell the story of sugar beet harvest in 1937 in Polk County including the towns of East Grand Forks and Fisher, Minnesota. The exhibition views the harvest through the eyes of the migrant worker, the processing factory, and the farmer.

Traveling across the country, Lee is best known for his work for the Farm Security Administration and his images as a photographer and photojournalist. He grew up in Illinois and attended Lehigh University in Bethlehem, Pennsylvania, majoring in chemical engineering. He gave up his pursuit in science to pursue his interest first in painting, and later, in photography, recording the people and places around him.

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