Essay Example on Dorothea Lange was born on May 26 1895









Dorothea Lange was born on May 26 1895 in Hoboken New Jersey She was originally born as Dorothea Nutzhorn and lived with her parents Heinrich Nutzhorn and Johanna Lange and her brother Martin Nutzhorn At the age of 7 Lange contracted polio which weakened both her right leg and foot When she was asked about it she stated It was the most important thing that happened to me and formed me guided me instructed me helped me and humiliated me Before she was a teen her parents divorced She resented her father so much for it that she dropped his surname and picked up her mother s Her parents held education on a pedestal and she was exposed to many creative works filled her adolescent years In 1935 Dorothea Lange was asked to assist with an economics research study led by Paul Taylor who was so impressed with her work that he asked her to join the Farm Security Administration which was established by the U S Agriculture Department a division that represented the interests of all American farmers including People of color and tenant farmers which were people who farmed on rented land Taylor would also become her second husband both leaving their respective spouses for one another Her life as a photographer was an interesting one She traveled with her husband documenting the hardships of people who lived in the rural area She wrote many report about the words of people whom she spoke to directly quoted directly 

Something is radical wrong one told her another said I don't believe the President knows what's happening to us here Lange also included her own observations They have built homes here out of nothing she wrote referring to the cardboard and plywood Okievilles scattered throughout California's Central Valley They have planted trees and flowers These flimsy shacks represent many a last stand to maintain self respect She would take photos of people who she deemed that would tell a story to the person looking at it The way she was able to take these pictures was that she was often to just saunter up to the people and look around and then when she saw something that she wanted to photograph to quietly take her camera look at it and if she saw that they objected why she would close it up and not take a photograph or perhaps she would she would wait until they were used to her Taylor would later note the way she had access to these peoples struggles and personal life was through patience and compassion Her most famous piece the migrant mother was intended to spark a change in the way the government handles the living conditions of farmers In this picture you can clearly see the women in a state of worry and despair while her children huddle around her Quoted from Popular photography 1960 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 The photo now resides in the library of congress In 1941 Lange was rewarded with the Guggenheim Fellowship for excellence in photography the first woman to ever to do so Following America's entrance to world war II and the bombing of pearl harbor she was hired by Office of War Information to photograph the forced evacuation of Japanese Americans to internment camps These photos so were so compelling and so critical of the situation that the Army impounded them they were seen by no one including Lange herself for more than twenty years In 1945 she was employed again by the Office of War Information this time to document the San Francisco conference that created the United Nations

She died in 1965 from battling esophageal cancer but left behind a legacy of thought provoking photos that were there to change the injustices in society Dorothea Lange's photographs emphasized the suffering of people during the Great Depression She specifically photographed the pain of families farmers and the unfortunate working conditions Dorothea wanted to reveal the injustices of their positions in society while the Depression Era took place Connecting to the theme Individual in Society Lange surely made a great impact with her photos She quoted No country has ever closely scrutinized itself visually trying to express that countries need to look at their flaws and corrupcy and fix them With her photographs she tried to draw attention to things that needed to be brought to the eyes of the government and more fortunate Some of her works did bring justice for those who were struggling during this Era of Depression however not all things were fixed But as an individual who used photos to focus on the flaws of the country at the time of The Great Depression Dorothea Lange truly made an impact on society

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