World's Highest Standard of Living, 1937
The Art Institute of Chicago, Gift of Boardroom
In the winter of 1937 the Ohio River flooded and thousands—already hit hard by the Great Depression—became homeless. A star photographer for Life magazine, Margaret Bourke-White was soon on the scene to capture this iconic period picture. Natural disasters come and go. What makes this image stick is its more than ironic juxtaposition of a somber breadline and the very cheery billboard above it.