Searching for the Seventies: The DOCUMERICA Photography Project from the National Archives

Organized by the Smithsonian Institution

September 7 – October 29, 2017

Closing Reception/RAM’s Annual Art Affair: Saturday, October 28, 2017

Images of everyday life in 1970s America: disco dancing and inflation, protests and bell-bottoms, gas shortages and suburban sprawl. At a time when the war in Vietnam and the Watergate scandal wore on the national psyche, a burgeoning movement to protect our natural environment was gaining force. In 1971, the newly established U.S. Environmental Protection Agency launched the DOCUMERICA Photography Project with the goal of documenting environmental troubles and triumphs across the country. About 70 photographers, including Flip Schulke, John Corn, Danny Lyon, John H. White, and Lyntha Scott Eiler completed 115 separate assignments between 1972 and 1977. What emerged was a moving and textured portrait of America. Capturing a rapidly changing society with surprising resonances to the present, Searching for the Seventies: The DOCUMERICA Photography Project presents a sampling of images culled from a trove of thousands.