Near Coolidge, Arizona. Migratory cotton picker with his cotton sack slung over his shoulder rests at the scales before returning to work in the field. (Photo by Dorothea Lange)
Dorothea Lange (1895-1965) is one of the few female photographers recognized for her important influence during a time when photography was male-dominated field.
American Suburb X’s well written article on Dorothea Lange, details her eventful photography career on how she started out working in a portrait studio, to taking her large, fixed-tripod camera to the streets to document the effects of the Depression for the Farm Security Administration (FSA).
Both her photographs and her captions provided insight into upheaval among rural laborers at a time when one tractor did the work of eight men and eight mules and farmers were turned off land that had supported them and their forbears for generations -American Suburb X-
During the World War 2, right after the Pearl Harbor bombing and anti-Japanese feelings were high, she documented the process of people with Japanese ancestory being relocated to interment camps. Controversy broke when one of her photo was used in a pamphlet by an activist, exposing the interment. But since the photo had already been published by the House Select Committee investigating defense migration, her credentials were never revoked.
Centerville, California. This farming couple awaits evacuation bus. Evacuees of Japanese ancestry will be housed in War Relocation Authority centers for the duration. (Photo by Dorothea Lange)
Hayward, California. A young member of an evacuee family awaiting evacuation bus. Evacuees of Japanese ancestry will be housed in War Relocation Authority centers for the duration. (Photo by Dorothea Lange)
Her historical photos of America at that critical time helped drive public policy – making her one of the most respected female photographers remembered and referred to even now.
A truly inspirational read, especially for those needing some extra inspiration. Read the full article titled “Unshuttered Lens: Dorothea Lange, Documentary Photography, and Government Work, (1935-1945)” on American Suburd X, here.
Photos from http://arcweb.archives.gov/