Tuesday, June 18, 2013

Dorothea Lange

Dorothea Lange was an American photographer and photojournalist probably best known for her Depression-era work for the Farm Security Administration (FSA).  Her photography put a human face on the consequences of the Depression and helped shape the development of documentary photography.

She along with about ten other photographers worked for the FSA between 1935-44, to help bring the plight of the poor to public awareness and in doing so, helped combat poverty and hunger.

Together with John Steinbeck's The Grapes of Wrath and documentary books such as Let Us Now Praise Famous Men, the FSA photography project was responsible for creating the iconic images that Americans recognize and identify with The Dust Bowl and The Great Depression.

The photo to the right is called "Migrant Mother" and is Dorothea Lange's most famous and recognized image.

In 1941, Lange was awarded a Guggenheim Fellowship.  After the attack on Pearl Harbor she gave up her award so she could photograph the forced internment of Japanese-Americans.  Her photographs were so critical that the Army impounded them.

Lange died in 1965 at age 70 of cancer following a couple of decades of poor health.  Her images have kept her memory alive and will continue to do so for many more generations.

Dorothea Lange

Dorothea Lange: Photographs from the J. Paul Getty Museum

Dorothea Lange: a Life Beyond Limits by Linda Gordon

Impounded: Dorothea Lange and the Censored Images of Japanese American Internment—ed. By Linda Gordon and Gary Y. Okihiro
Restless Spirit: the Life and Works of Dorothea Lange by Elizabeth Partridge
Farm Security Administration

Let Us Now Praise Famous Men: the American Classic, in Words and Photographs, of Three Tenant Families in the Deep South by James Agee and Walker Evans
Ohio:A Photographic Portrait 1935-1941: Farm Security Administration Photographs
Children pledge allegiance to the American flag in 1942, prior to the internment of Japanese-Americans.                            --Dorothea Lange

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