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That '70s Show.

That '70s Show.

Step Up Your Instagram Game By Scoping the EPA's Film Photography Exhibit at Fountain Place.

By Pete on Thursday, August 9, 2012 at 1:12 PM

Here's a question worth asking: Were the '70s just way cooler than modern times, or do they just look that way because the so-so film of the time washed everything out in sepia tones?

Tough to say, but it's clear that a large part of us prefers things the way they looked back then. Hence, y'know, the popularity of Instagram -- and, specifically, the 1977 filter that we admit we're a little too partial toward.

Surely, that's at least part of the reason we're stoke to check out the Environmental Protection Agency's Documerica exhibit, which is on display on the seventh floor of the Fountain Place building downtown (the pointy one) through August 14.

The exhibit's the result of a seven-year project funded by the EPA, in which the then-new organization hired freelance photographers from around the country to "capture images relating to environmental problems, EPA activities, and everyday life in the 1970s."

The resulting 15,000 photos, only some of which will actually be on display here in Dallas, touch on everything from coal miners covered in soot, lazy hippies smoking pot byb a lake and city folk meandering about skyscrapers. Recently rediscovered and sent out as a nationally touring exhibit by the folks over at the National Archives, the collection is pretty amazing in that Best-of-Instagram-meets-Dazed and Confused-meets-coal-mining-in-West-Virginia kind of way.

These pictures' rediscovery has even inspired the National Archives to accept through 2013 new photo submissions of similar type for future displays.

Can't make it downtown by Tuesday to scope the exhibit? No worries. You can scan the entire collection here on the EPA's Flickr account.

(Hat tip.)