Dorothea Lange Essay Migrant Mother

Dorothea Lange Essay Migrant Mother-25
There she sat in that lean-to tent with her children huddled around her, and seemed to know that my pictures might help her, and so she helped me. After Lange returned home, she told the editor of a San Francisco newspaper about conditions at the camp and provided him with two of her photographs.The editor informed federal authorities and published an article that included the images.

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I do not remember how I explained my presence or my camera to her, but I do remember she asked me no questions. She said that they had been living on frozen vegetables from the surrounding fields, and birds that the children killed.

I made five exposures, working closer and closer from the same direction. She had just sold the tires from her car to buy food.

According to an essay by photographer, Martha Rosler, the photo became the most reproduced photograph in the world.

After the attack on Pearl Harbor, she gave up the prestigious fellowship to record the forced evacuation of Japanese Americans from the West Coast on assignment for the War Relocation Authority (WRA).

While that was a fairly common practice at the time, Mr. Meister said she loved “an unsolved mystery,” so searching for the answers of whether “Migrant Mother” was made in February or March 1936, or where the captions came from and why they upset the family, was satisfying.

Stryker thought it compromised the authenticity not just of the photo but also of his whole F. But to her, correcting the historical record was especially meaningful.“As a civilization we need to be able to establish facts and still accept that for some people this might represent the pinnacle of motherhood,” she said.

Lange had an assistant retouch the negative and remove Ms. In the print from the Library of Congress below, the thumb is still in the image’s lower right corner.

Thompson’s thumb from the bottom right corner, much to the chagrin of Roy Stryker, her boss at the Farm Security Administration. Even The New York Times altered the image, including once where “the children had been removed, and the dingy interior of the tent made to appear as wisps of clouds in a bright sky,” Ms. The paper also ran a heavily retouched print on July 26, 1936, shown above, that heightened the contrast between the mother and the background, “minimizing the presence of Thompson’s offending thumb.”Ms.

and their subsequent incarceration, traveling throughout urban and rural California to photograph families preparing to leave, visiting several temporary assembly centers as they opened, and eventually highlighting Manzanar, the first of the permanent internment camps.

Much of her work focused on the waiting and uncertainty involved in the removal: piles of luggage waiting to be sorted, families wearing identification tags while awaiting transport.


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