Thomas NeylandJanuary 19, 2018Photography IIMs. Carney Dorothea Lange Dorothea Lange was an American documentary photographer and photojournalist, shemade her name during the Great Depression while working for the FSA, or Farm SecurityAdministration. Dorothea Lange’s photographs humanized everything that was going on with theGreat Depression and helped grow the genre of documentary photography greatly. Lange wasborn 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 ayounger brother named Martin. Lange’s family life was tumotulous and at the age of 12 herfather left her and her family. This was the second of many challenges in Lange’s young life, asat the young age of seven she contracted the dangerous polio virus which left her with weakright leg that resulted in a limp.
Lange was quoted once saying that she had “never gotten overit” about her right leg and the consequences, laugh, and looks that it drew from strangers andpasserbys. Lange graduated high school in New Jersey and pursued an education in photographyat Columbia University nearby, in New York City. During college Lange met many other famousphotographers that had a great influence on her and essentially mentored her. Two of her mainmentors were Clarence White and Arnold Genthe. In 1918 she departed on a trip with a femalefriend and on that trip she was robbed in San Francisco, and out of money she was forced tolive in San Francisco where she set up a successful portrait studio. When the Great Depression came along Lange began to photograph the daily life ofcitizens, farmers, and other normal people instead of subjects in a studio. Her piece the “WhiteAngel” catapulted her career and led to her getting jobs with the federal ResettlementAdministration which later became the Farm Security Administration. It was here that Langemade her name for herself taking pictures that influenced the nation and are still rememberedby many.
Lange endured the hardest parts of the Great Depression in the Dust Bowl with thesubjects she photographed. Lange lived out the rest of her life working for the California School of Fine Arts and theSan Francisco Art Institute where she was a high ranking professor and scholar and publishedmany photographs that would continue to move the nation. Lange is still regarded highly in thefine arts community and was inducted into the National Women’s Hall of Fame and CaliforniaHall of Fame for her work in photography and bringing light to the conditions of theimpoverished and destitute. This is Lange’s most famous picture (Migrant Mother) and it is good because of theemotion 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 dirtroad 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 goodbecause it captures Japanese children’s allegiance to a country that has betrayed themand captures how niave they are.
This picture was also taken of subjects in Internment and is good because of the faces itcaptures and the bleakness of the picture reflects the situation Lange’s White Angel photograph is good because of the man’s contrast from the othermen because he is facing the other way