Friday, February 16, 2007

Dorothea Lange - My Heroes (cont.)

"Dorothea Lange's images had a profound influence on the development of documentary photography in the United States.

Lange's work for the RA and FSA brought the plight of the poor and forgotten, particularly sharecroppers, displaced farm families, and migrant workers, to the publics attention. Distributed free of charge to newspapers across the country, her poignant images quickly became icons of the era.

Lange's best known image is titled "Migrant Mother." The woman in the photo is Florence Owens Thompson but Lange apparently never knew her name."

During an interview in 1960 Lange spoke about the experience.

"I saw and approached the hungry and desperate mother, as if drawn by a magnet. I do not remember how I explained my presence or my camera to her, but I do remember she asked me no questions. I made five exposures, working closer and closer from the same direction. I did not ask her name or her history. She told me her age, that she was thirty-two. She said that they had been living on frozen vegetables from the surrounding fields, and birds that the children killed. She had just sold the tires from her car to buy food. 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. There was a sort of equality about it."

To learn more about Dorothea Lange click here.