September 15, 2010 | Source: Monroe Gallery of Photography

Ernst Haas: New Mexico, 1952  vintage chromogenic print  10 x 8 inches

Autumn has almost officially arrived and so will cooler weather. October arrives in full golden glory as aspen trees display their glowing fall colors, usually through the middle of the month. The Santa Fe Ski Basin offers a wonderful Fall Scenic Chairlift that is an ideal way to take in the foliage. With highs averaging 67 degrees and lows dipping to 37 degrees, October's crisp, cool weather is ideal for hiking, biking and other outdoor activities.

Monroe Gallery of Photography starts the month with a timely and significant exhibition: "Carl Mydans: The Early Years". There is an opening reception on Friday, October 1, from 5 - 7 PM.

Cafe in Pikesville, Tennessee, 1936 (for the Farm Security Administration) ©Time Inc

Born in Massachusetts, near Boston, in 1907, Carl Mydans' keen sensitivity and honesty compelled him toward a lifetime of social and historical documentary photography. After working for the Boston Globe and the Boston Herald, he joined the photographic staff of the Farm Security Administration in 1936. The FSA, as it was familiarly known, was a New Deal agency established during the Great Depression by Franklin Roosevelt designed to combat rural poverty during a period when the agricultural climate and national economy were causing great dislocations in rural life. The photographers who worked under the name of the FSA were hired on for public relations; they were supposed to provide visual evidence that there was need, and that the FSA programs were meeting that need. Roy Stryker, who Mydans described as one of the most important influences in his life, headed the FSA. Stryker hired Mydans, along with several other photographers who were also later to become legendary, such as Walker Evans, Dorothea Lange, Gordon Parks, and Arthur Rothstein, to document the conditions of people and their surroundings most affected by the Depression.

Carl Mydans: Demonstrators in a Works Progress Administration (WPA) Strike, 1937 (©Time Inc)

Featured in the exhibition is a rare and distinct collection of  prints from the FSA archives, specially selected by Mydans in 1993 from a large body of his work that is owned by the United States government; as well as rare early vintage prints from the archives of LIFE magazine - the actual prints used for LIFE magazine stories. (Watch this blog for more information shortly.)

Mark Edward Harris will also join us that evening to sign copies of the second edition of his book, The Way of The Japanese Bath. A selection of prints from the book, specially printed with rich charcoal tones on washi paper, will be on exhibit.

Mark Edward Harris: the Way of the Japanese Bath

The annual Albuquerque International Balloon Fiesta takes place October 2 - 10. Each day, it fills the skies south of Santa Fe with hundreds of colorful hot air balloons that dazzle the crowds during morning and evening Balloon Glows, Mass Ascensions and an array of contests. It is the largest ballooning event on earth, the most photographed event on earth, and the largest annual international event held in the United States.

For 10 years, the Santa Fe Film Festival took place in early December. In 2010, it moves to October 20 - 24, continuing to feature innovative programing. The festival showcases films made in the Southwest as well as independent American-made narrative films, films made outside the U.S., documentaries and art films celebrating the creative spirit. With a full schedule of workshops, panels, parties, awards and more, the Santa Fe Film Festival has become an exciting and popular film event that appeals to professionals and fans alike. on Friday, October 22, Monroe Gallery is very pleased to welcome acclaimed photographer Brian Hamill for a special reception and exhibition. In the late 1960s, Hamill began a career as a photojournalist and also worked as an assistant to several top fashion photographers. Hamill has worked as a unit still photographer on over seventy-five movies including twenty-six Woody Allen films, resulting in the much acclaimed coffee table photo book entitled "Woody Allen At Work: The Photographs of Brian Hamill" (Harry N. Abrams, 1995). Please join us on October 22, from 5 - 7 PM, to welcome Brian and enjoy his photographs from the movies.

Brian Hamill: Diane Keaton and Woody Allen, 59th Street Bridge, New York, 1978, "Manhattan"

For a full calendar of October events, visit the official Santa Fe Convention and Visitors web site here.

Tags: WPA movies Santa fe mountains depression film festival fall foliage FSA