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Thursday, May 26, 2011

May 26th

Born this day in 1895,Dorothea Lange,photo journalist. Lange captured the Great Depression in one photograph, Migrant Mother


Lange's life was not without pain and suffering. As a child she contracted polio at the age of seven and she had limp in her right side her whole life. She also grew up in a family whose father abandoned them when she 12. Both experiences formed who she was to become.
Lange studied photography in New York City classes taught by Clarence H. White and she apprenticed with other studios including the famous Arnold Genthe. A move in 1918to San Francisco, there she opened a portrait studio and married artist Maynard Dixon, the marriage did not last but they did have two sons.
But, when the Great Depression hit, Lange hit the streets, turning her camera to real life instead a posed life. Her photographs of people who were unemployed and homeless caught the attention of the Farm Security Administration FSA. It is also at this time she met and married her second husband, Paul Schuster Taylor a Professor of Economics at the University of California, Berkeley. Together they documented rural poverty and exploitation of sharecroppers and migrant workers.
1935 to 1939, Lange's work captured the plight of the poor and forgotten sharecroppers, farm families and migrant workers. For free, Lange and Taylor distributed their stories and photographs to newspapers throughout the country. Educating a Nation to the pain and suffering of the section of Americans.