What We Can Learn from the Brief Period When the Government Employed Artists
[Link to SFMOMA object page] (http://www.sfmoma.org/explore/collection/artwork/9335)
San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, gift of Steven M. Raas and Sandra S. Raas
Dorothea Lange spent her life documenting humanity through her revealing, empathetic photographs of the lives of others. An early case of polio brought a permanent handicap in one of her limbs; also having survived childhood abandonment by her father, Lange was strong and deeply compassionate. Upon the arrival of the Great Depression in the 1930s, she used photography to share the image of those affected by hunger and unemployment. Her best known work, Migrant Mother (1936), was taken while working to document the farm families forced to migrate west in search of work. The photo depicts the severity of the Depression, humanized by Lange's composition of an impoverished woman and her children. Lange is also known for exposing the racism and human rights issues of the WWII Japanese-American internment through her images (which were censored) and as the later co-founder of Aperture Magazine.
American, May 26, 1895 - October 11, 1965, Hoboken, New Jersey