She was eager to take the commission, despite being opposed to the effort, as she believed “a true record of the evacuation would be valuable in the future.” Japan Focus / Lange's Depression-era photos are so tightly woven into the fabric of American culture that, for many of us, our memories of that period are inseparable from the scenes she captured with her camera, from her iconic portrait of maternal demoralization and perseverance, "Migrant Mother" (1936), to her over-farmed fields, ramshackle lean-to tents and dusty jalopies. Dorothea Lange (1895-1965) was a highly acclaimed social realist photographer who recorded one of the most important historical periods in American social history. The indescribably poignant expression on Thompson's face stands out from between the bowed heads of her sons, whose presence reveals the nature of her concerns. A skilled portraitist, Lange famously possessed an ability to return a sense of dignity to a group that had been routinely dehumanized. There, she fell in with the era's bohemian artists and writers, including the painter Maynard Dixon, who she eventually married. Her mission was not just personal: Lange had been hired by the photographic unit of the Farm Security Administration -- a progressive New Deal agency founded to alleviate poverty -- to document the growing migrant crisis. "Migrant Mother" by Dorothea Lange. The solemnity and portrait style of this photograph counteracts the indignity of … Courtesy of MACK The book’s title comes from a photo Lange made of a … Lange’s photographs humanized the consequences of the Great Depression and influenced the development of documentary photography. $17. "), "The political impact of her work was felt in much the same way as that of 'Uncle Tom's Cabin' before the Civil War in creating a heightened public awareness of injustice," said Johnson. After introducing Dorothea Lange as a person, focusing on her childhood and early career as a point of reference with which students may identify, we will use her photography as a springboard for content, reflection, and analysis. At the time, she was working as a photographer for the Resettlement Administration (RA), a Depression-era government agency formed to raise public awareness of and provide aid to struggling farmers. style. Probably the most famous of Lange's photographs, the description she wrote of her encounter with Florence Owens Thompson reveals that it left a deep impression on her. Rather than suggesting he pose, Lange has caught him as if unawares, an effect which persuades us all the more of the truth of the image. I don't distrust them. It … This will be done in the context of the life and work of photographer Dorothea Lange. He is not a bystander. The brutally reductive photo-editing style of LIFE and the magazine’s right-of-center politics tamped down the progressive political slant of Lange’s photography. Her best-known image is Migrant Mother, Nipomo, California (1936). The Dorothea Lange Collection, The Oakland Museum of California 1936. November 5, 2009, By Linda Gordon / I am a photographer based in Southern Califorina. In this picture, Lange is able to capture a striking look of anxiety on the face of her subject. Newsweek / She pioneered a use of the camera as a powerful catalyst for social change, and in an era erupting with humanitarian conflict, her legacy resonates. "Most of all, she spent time with people, establishing rapport and getting their story, often before even taking out her camera. Lange's photographs influenced the development of documentary photography and humanized the consequences of the Great Depression. 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