Thomas of her main mentors were Clarence White and

Thomas Neyland
January 19, 2018
Photography II
Ms. Carney

Dorothea Lange

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Dorothea Lange was an American documentary photographer and photojournalist, she
made her name during the Great Depression while working for the FSA, or Farm Security
Administration. Dorothea Lange’s photographs humanized everything that was going on with the
Great Depression and helped grow the genre of documentary photography greatly. Lange was
born May 26, 1895 and died October 11, 1965 at the age of 70.

Lange was born to second generation German immigrants in New Jersey. She had a
younger brother named Martin. Lange’s family life was tumotulous and at the age of 12 her
father left her and her family. This was the second of many challenges in Lange’s young life, as
at the young age of seven she contracted the dangerous polio virus which left her with weak
right leg that resulted in a limp. Lange was quoted once saying that she had “never gotten over
it” about her right leg and the consequences, laugh, and looks that it drew from strangers and
passerbys.

Lange graduated high school in New Jersey and pursued an education in photography
at Columbia University nearby, in New York City. During college Lange met many other famous
photographers that had a great influence on her and essentially mentored her. Two of her main
mentors were Clarence White and Arnold Genthe. In 1918 she departed on a trip with a female
friend and on that trip she was robbed in San Francisco, and out of money she was forced to
live in San Francisco where she set up a successful portrait studio.

When the Great Depression came along Lange began to photograph the daily life of
citizens, farmers, and other normal people instead of subjects in a studio. Her piece the “White
Angel” catapulted her career and led to her getting jobs with the federal Resettlement
Administration which later became the Farm Security Administration. It was here that Lange
made her name for herself taking pictures that influenced the nation and are still remembered
by many. Lange endured the hardest parts of the Great Depression in the Dust Bowl with the
subjects she photographed.

Lange lived out the rest of her life working for the California School of Fine Arts and the
San Francisco Art Institute where she was a high ranking professor and scholar and published
many photographs that would continue to move the nation. Lange is still regarded highly in the
fine arts community and was inducted into the National Women’s Hall of Fame and California
Hall of Fame for her work in photography and bringing light to the conditions of the
impoverished and destitute.

This is Lange’s most famous picture (Migrant Mother) and it is good because of the
emotion it captures of a hardworking mother in the Dust Bowl

This picture (Broke, Baby, and Car Trouble) depicts a man and a baby sitting by a dirt
road poor and destitute, despite only having B cameras Lange still captures trouble,
and hope all in one photograph

Lange took this picture while documenting the Japanese Internment and it is good
because it captures Japanese children’s allegiance to a country that has betrayed them
and captures how niave they are.

This picture was also taken of subjects in Internment and is good because of the faces it
captures and the bleakness of the picture reflects the situation

Lange’s White Angel photograph is good because of the man’s contrast from the other
men because he is facing the other way