Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Dorothea Lange & Giving Thanks

Dorothea Lange

Photographer, 1895-1965

This time period reminds me of why we should give THANKS!!!


Look at her camera!

This is one of my favorite images she created,

of the families working in the fields in the great depression!


“This is what we did. How did it happen? How could we?”
Dorothea Lange was born in Hoboken, New Jersey. She studied photography at Columbia University and worked at a New York portrait studio until 1918 when she began to travel. Stranded in San Francisco, she continued studio work during the 1920’s. With her husband, the painter Maynard Dixon, she traveled the southwest, photographing Native Americans. She believed that the camera could teach people ”how to see without a camera.”


The social upheaval brought on by the Great Depression led Lange to take her camera into the streets where she documented the sufferings of the dispossessed, in breadlines and labor strikes, in the wrenching drama of endless waiting. In 1935 with her second husband, Paul Schuster Taylor, a labor economist, Lange was employed by the California and Federal Resettlement Administration (Later the Farm Security Administration) to record the Dust Bowl exodus when drought and hard times forced thousands of farm families to move west in search of work. Her most familiar image, “Migrant Mother, Nipoma, California, 1936,” now in the Library of Congress collection, derives from this assignment. Of her work during this era Lange said: “The good photograph is not the object, the consequences of the photograph are the objects. So that no one would say, ’how did you do it, where did you find it, ‘ but they would say that such things could be.”
During World War II Dorothea Lange documented the internment of Japanese-Americans in camps and then turned her lens on women and members of minority groups at work side by side in California shipyards. Following the war, she covered the founding of the United Nations in San Francisco. The first woman to be awarded a Guggenheim fellowship (which she was unable to complete because of illness), Lange traveled widely during the 1950’s and 1960’s. She visited Vietnam, Ireland, Pakistan and India, doing many photographic essays for Life magazine.
Dorothea Lange’s work reflects insight, compassion and profound empathy for her subjects. Her photographs are reproduced in books and housed in museum collections, most numerously in the Oakland Museum of California. Although she did not consider herself to be an artist, she said of her work: “To live a visual life is an enormous undertaking, practically unattainable…But I have only touched it, just touched it.”


We are still in history of photography in school and it is my favorite.

In these times, photographers where hired to document what was going on.

I wanted to leave you with a bit of history of one of my favorite photographers.

I am busy with the fixings of Thanksgiving and will be back with photos soon.

I want to share some of my Christmas decor after Thanksgiving. I don’t want to rush through it,

I want to give thanks for my life and everything in it.

Happy Thanksgiving!

Be back soon




  1. Wonderful photos! And a very intersting post!
    Thank you!

  2. I am terribly concerned that inflation is here in the USA and that there will be many hungry people to photograph sadly. Thanks for sharing this great American with us. Happy Thanksgiving. ♥O

  3. I've seen many of these photos before and they are haunting and beautiful.It's really interesting to learn the history of the photographer.Thank you so much for this wonderful post. Happy Thansgiving

  4. I love history, never did as a child but do appreciate it now.I have read about Mrs.Lange before and enjoy her Photos & History.~Blessings Kim

  5. I know that famous picture well...it was photographed right here where I live (10 min away)in Nipomo. This picture just tugs at your heart as a mother.....can you imagine??
    Photography is so special. It captures moments in time that memories just dont do justice. How neat that you get to learn all about the history of amazing photographers in your class :)
    Happy Thanksgiving my sweet friend!

  6. Beautiful post!! Happy Thanksgiving:)


  7. Lulu- I have always loved her work. She was a tremendously talented photographer. Yes...we are lucky to have our little click and snaps cameras! Hugs- Diana

  8. Really wonderful post. Lange's work is indeed remarkable. I hope you have a wonderful Thanksgiving!

  9. Thanks for sharing such a meaningful post.

  10. Wonderful, iconic photos.
    Great post, Lu!

    Happy Thanksgiving!!!


  11. Interesting post.I enjoyed this alot.Happy Thanksgiving,and congrats I just read below your pregnant.Much happiness.

  12. love these shots....
    i just love capturing moments in people's lives...

    oh, how i hope i can do this one day....

  13. We have much to be thankful for ~ wonderful post.

  14. I love this post!! I too am a fan of Dorothea Lange!! Her ability to move people without fancy cameras and lenses inspires me to do the same!! I am also thankful that cameras have come a lo-o-o-o-ong way babe!!

  15. Thanks for sharing this--quite beautiful

  16. Great post - it's so incredible to read about people in history that made such an impact.
    I hope you have a wonderful Thanksgiving filled with all things love xo

  17. Thank you so much for sharing such a wonderfully interesting post!!

    Happy Thanksgiving to you!

  18. Beautifully soulful.
    Happy ThanksGiving