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An army of harvesters moved in to harvest wheat for their country after the Germans were beaten back from the Kuban Valley in the Caucasus, May 1944
Vintage ferrotyped gelatin silver print on paper

Creation Place: Asia
Technique: Photography
Credit Line: Restricted gift of Michael Mattis, Judy Hochberg, Fernando Barnuevo and Gloria Ybarra
Accession Number: P2020.6.40

Provenance
Purchased by the Benton Museum of Art at Pomona College on August 12, 2020 from Edwynn Houk Gallery, New York.

Commentary
Harvesting While "On Guard" on Heels of Nazi Retreat: No sooner than the Germans were beaten back from the Kuban Valley in the Caucasus, than a veritable army of harvesters moved in to take over the job of providing needed wheat for their country at war. The fields were in striking distance of Nazi airfields, so a machine gun -- four barreled -- was directed toward the sky at all times as the collective farmers went about their work. This ARP squad (Air Raid Protection) is mainly composed of girls, Russia.

The Battle of the Caucasus (July 25, 1942 - May 12, 1944) is a name given to a series of Axis and Soviet operations in the Caucasus area on the Eastern Front of World War II. On July 25, 1942, German troops captured Rostov-on-Don, Russia, opening the Caucasus region of the southern Soviet Union, and the oil fields beyond at Maikop, Grozny, and ultimately Baku, to the Germans. Two days prior, Adolf Hitler issued a directive to launch such an operation into the Caucasus region, to be named Operation Edelweiß. German forces were compelled to withdraw from the area that winter as Operation Little Saturn threatened to cut them off.

Technique
Ferrotyped prints are processed in such a way that they are shiny. The print has a sensitive surface, usually thinner, because it was put through a press while still wet.

Marks
On recto: Label in bottom right corner, "DISPATCH / PHOTO NEWS / SERVICE / INC. / NEW YORK".

On verso: Typewritten label attached in center, "HARVESTING WHILE 'ON GUARD' ON HEELS OF NAZI RETREAT / No sooner than the Germans were beaten back from the Kuban Valley in the Caucasus, then a veritable / army of harvesters moved in to takeover the job of providing needed wheat for their country at war. / The fields were in striking distance of Nazi airfields and so a machine gun - four barreled - was directed / toward the skies at all times as the collective farmers went about their work. This arp squad, as you / see, is mainly composed of girls. Produced Exclusively by Dispatch Photo News Service, New York City". Handwritten in graphite in top left corner, "DP-WW2-040".

Materials
Ferrotyped prints have a sensitive surface, usually shiny and thinner, because they are put through a press while still wet. Ferrotyping makes the surface of the photograph smoother. Light does not scatter as much on a smoother surface, so this increases contrast. That makes ferrotyped images better for press photography.

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