Dorothea Lange changed the course of documentary photography and left an indelible mark on the collective psyche of the United States with her photographs of everyday life. Her passion to chronicling the truth and her empathetic depictions of underprivileged people during times of extreme suffering have transformed attitudes and establish her as a great American artist. Lange's images immortalized the voiceless by giving them a place in American history.
Dorothea Lange's introduction is one of the most important in the history of American photography. Lange was a pioneering documentary photographer whose work immortalized times of hardship, perseverance, and transformation in the United States. Her powerful images of poverty and fortitude have not only affected photography but also the way Americans view their own history.
Dorothea Lange was born on May 26, 1895, in Hoboken, New Jersey, and she didn't pick up a camera until she was a young adult. She attended New York City's Columbia University, then backpacked across the world, before landing in San Francisco in 1919 and starting a thriving picture business.
The advent of the Great Depression was a watershed moment in Lange's career, and she shifted gears to focus on documentary photography. Because of the poverty she saw, she decided to take her photography outside of the studio. A dramatic contrast to the typically happy picture of America at the time, Lange's photos of unemployed laborers and homeless families showed the brutal truths of the economic calamity.
The FSA and the Migrant Mother: Dorothea Lange's most well-known shot, "Migrant Mother," was taken that year. The photograph of a worried lady and her children in a California migrant workers' camp became a symbol of the Great Depression. The New Deal's Farm Security Administration (FSA), whose mission was to alleviate rural poverty, took notice of Lange's work during this time. Some of Lange's most influential photographs were made while she was employed by the FSA to record the plight of America's farming communities.
Internment Camps and World War II Dorothea Lange was contracted by the War Relocation Authority to photograph Japanese-Americans being held in internment camps during World War II. Although the government withheld many of her shots until after the war, her powerful and unsettling images once again exposed the brutal truths of American politics.
Dorothea Lange's legacy and the impact of her work as a documentary photographer and social commentator are both well acknowledged. Her images have been shown all around the world, and she received a Guggenheim Fellowship in 1941. After her death in 1965, Lange left behind a body of work that has inspired countless photographers and filmmakers.