Dorothea Lange Slideshow


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Selections of Dorothea Lange's photographs from the era of the Great Depression, with Lange's own notes on the photographs she took.

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Dorothea Lange Slideshow

  1. 1. The Great Depression in Black and White The Photography of Dorothea Lange Images and text (Lange’s original) from Shorpy Historic Photo Archive <>
  2. 2. July 1938. Sorting tobacco on the porch near Near Douglas, Georgia. The program to eliminate the risk and uncertainty of a one-crop system meets the approval of this sharecropper: "You don't have to worriate so much and you've got time to raise somp'n to eat." Dorothea Lange
  3. 3. July 1937. "Sharecropper family near Hazlehurst, Georgia." Nitrate negative by Dorothea Lange for the Resettlement Administration. Dorothea Lange
  4. 4. November 1936. "American River camp, Sacramento, California. Destitute family. Five children, aged two to seventeen years." Dorothea Lange
  5. 5. March 1937. "Water supply: Open settling basin from the irrigation ditch in a California squatter camp near Calipatria." Dorothea Lange
  6. 6. May 1937. "Mother and child of Arkansas flood refugee family near Memphis, Texas. These people, with all their earthly belongings, are bound for the lower Rio Grande Valley, where they hope to pick cotton." Dorothea Lange
  7. 7. March 1937. "Men on 'Skid Row.' Modesto, California." Dorothea Lange
  8. 8. June 1938. "Butter bean vines across the porch. Negro quarter in Memphis, Tennessee." Dorothea Lange
  9. 9. June 1938. Outskirts of El Paso, Texas. "Young Negro wife cooking breakfast. 'Do you suppose I'd be out on the highway cooking my steak if I had it good at home?' Occupations: hotel maid, cook, laundress." Dorothea Lange
  10. 10. August 1936. "Part of an impoverished family of nine on a New Mexico highway. Depression refugees from Iowa. Left Iowa in 1932 because of father's ill health. Father an auto mechanic laborer, painter by trade, tubercular. Family has been on relief in Arizona but refused entry on relief rolls in Iowa to which state they wish to return. Nine children including a sick four-month- old baby. No money at all. About to sell their belongings and trailer for money to buy food. 'We don't want to go where we'll be a nuisance to anybody.'" Dorothea Lange
  11. 11. August 17, 1936. Blythe, California. "Drought refugees from Oklahoma camping by the roadside. They hope to work in the cotton fields. There are seven in family. The official at the border inspection service said that on this day, 23 carloads and truckloads of migrant families out of the drought counties of Oklahoma and Arkansas had passed through from Arizona entering California." Dorothea Lange
  12. 12. July 1937. "Thirteen-year old sharecropper boy near Americus, Georgia." Dorothea Lange
  13. 13. June 1937. "Wife and child of tractor driver. Aldridge Plantation, Mississippi." Dorothea Lange
  14. 14. June 1935. "Children of Oklahoma drought refugees on highway near Bakersfield, California. Family of six; no shelter, no food, no money and almost no gasoline. The child has bone tuberculosis." Dorothea Lange
  15. 15. August 1936. "People living in miserable poverty. Elm Grove, Oklahoma County, Oklahoma." Dorothea Lange
  16. 16. California, March 1937. "Toward Los Angeles." Dorothea Lange
  17. 17. December 1935. "Resettled farm child. From Taos Junction to Bosque Farms project, New Mexico." Dorothea Lange
  18. 18. November 1936. Arvin migratory farm workers' camp in Kern County, California. "Tom Collins, manager of Kern migrant camp, with drought refugee family." Dorothea Lange
  19. 19. August 1936. "Migrant cotton pickers at lunchtime. Near Robstown, Texas." Dorothea Lange
  20. 20. November 1936. Eighty-year-old woman living in squatters' camp on the outskirts of Bakersfield, California. "If you lose your pluck you lose the most there is in you -- all you've got to live with." Dorothea Lange
  21. 21. July 1936. Washington, Pennsylvania. "Old age." Dorothea Lange
  22. 22. November 1936. "Daughter of migrant Tennessee coal miner. Living in American River camp near Sacramento, California." Dorothea Lange
  23. 23. July 1937. "Louisiana Negress." Dorothea Lange
  24. 24. February 1939. Calipatria, Imperial Valley. Car on siding across tracks from pea packing plant. Twenty-five year old itinerant, originally from Oregon. "On the road eight years, all over the country, every state in the union, back and forth, pick up a job here and there, traveling all the time." Dorothea Lange
  25. 25. July 1939. "Ten-year-old son of tobacco sharecropper can do a 'hand's work' at harvest time." Seen here feeding logs into the fire next to flue of the curing barn. Granville County, North Carolina. Dorothea Lange
  26. 26. July 1939. "Negro tenant farmer reading paper on a hot Saturday afternoon. Note vegetable garden across footpath. Chatham County, North Carolina." Dorothea Lange
  27. 27. July 1939. "Grandson of Negro tenant farmer whose father is in the penitentiary." Granville County, North Carolina. Dorothea Lange
  28. 28. July 1939. Shoofly, North Carolina. "Tobacco field in early morning where white sharecropper and wage laborer are priming tobacco." Dorothea Lange
  29. 29. March 1937. Stalled in the Southern California desert. "No money, ten children. From Chickasaw, Oklahoma." Dorothea Lange
  30. 30. October 1939. The Unruf family. Mennonite wheat farmers from Kansas, now developing a stump ranch in Boundary County, Idaho. The mother, father and hardworking 15-year-old son with other children in yard before the barn. Father and son have cleared 30 acres of raw stump land in three years. Dorothea Lange
  31. 31. July 1939. "Noontime chores: feeding chickens on Negro tenant farm. Granville County, North Carolina." Dorothea Lange
  32. 32. March 1937. "Unemployed family from the Rio Grande Valley, Texas, camped on a river bottom near Holtville, California." Dorothea Lange
  33. 33. July 1939. "Tobacco sharecropper's house. White family. Rural rehabilitation clients. Whitfield family. Near Gordonton, North Carolina." Dorothea Lange
  34. 34. August 1939. Agricultural migrants. "Family who traveled by freight train. Toppenish, Washington. Yakima Valley." Dorothea Lange
  35. 35. July 1939. "Zollie Lyons, Negro sharecropper, home from the field for dinner at noontime, with his wife and part of his family. Note dog run. Wake County, North Carolina." Dorothea Lange
  36. 36. July 1939. Gordonton, N.C. "Country store on dirt road. Sunday afternoon. Note kerosene pump on the right and the gasoline pump on the left. Rough, unfinished timber posts have been used as supports for porch roof. Negro men sitting on the porch. Brother of store owner stands in doorway." Dorothea Lange
  37. 37. August 1936. Sallisaw, Oklahoma. Sequoyah County drought farmers. "Nothing to do," said one of them. "These fellers are goin' to stay right here till they dry up and die." Dorothea Lange
  38. 38. July 1936. Hill House, Mississippi. "Sharecroppers' families gathering needs for their Fourth of July celebration, whites and blacks together." Dorothea Lange
  39. 39. A farm child whose family resettled on the Bosque Farms project in New Mexico. Dorothea Lange
  40. 40. February 1939. "On U.S. 99 between Bakersfield and the Ridge, en route to San Diego. Migrant man shaving by roadside." Dorothea Lange
  41. 41. February 1939. Calipatria, Imperial Valley. Farm Security Administration emergency migratory labor camp. Daughter of ex-tenant farmers on thirds and fourths in cotton. Had fifty dollars when set out. Went to Phoenix, picked cotton, pulled bolls, made eighty cents a day. Stayed until school closed. Went to Idaho, picked peas until August. Left McCall with forty dollars "in hand." Went to Cedar City and Parowan, Utah, a distance of 700 miles. Picked peas through September. Went to Hollister, California. Picked peas through October. Left Hollister for Calipatria for early peas which froze. Now receiving Farm Security Administration food grant and waiting for work to begin. "Back in Oklahoma, we are sinking. You work your head off for a crop and then see it burn up. You live in debts that you can never get out of. This isn't a good life, but I say that it's a better life than it was." Dorothea Lange
  42. 42. July 1936. "Old-time Negro living on a cotton patch near Vicksburg, Mississippi." Dorothea Lange
  43. 43. October 1939. "The Fairbanks family has moved to three different places on the project in one year." Willow Creek area, Malheur County, Oregon. Dorothea Lange
  44. 44. March 1937. Migratory Mexican field worker's home next to pea field. Imperial Valley, California. Dorothea Lange
  45. 45. June 1938. Pittsburg County, Oklahoma. Family walking on highway, five children. Started from Idabel, bound for Krebs. In 1936 the father farmed on thirds and fourths at Eagleton, McCurtain County. Was taken sick with pneumonia and lost farm. Was refused relief in county of 15 years' residence because of temporary residence elsewhere. Dorothea Lange
  46. 46. June 1938. In Memphis, hundreds of colored laborers congregate near the bridge every morning at daylight in hopes of work chopping cotton on a plantation, where they are taken by truck. Reduced acreage has made employment scarce for this class of seasonal labor in all towns. "You can't live the commonest way on six bits a day. Not alone nor no way. A man like me can't get no foothold. It's a mighty tough old go. The people here in the morning are hungry, raggedy, but they don't make no hungry march." Dorothea Lange
  47. 47. June 1938. Nettie Featherston, wife of a migratory laborer with three children. Near Childress, Texas. "If you die, you're dead – that's all." Dorothea Lange
  48. 48. Fourth of July 1939 near Chapel Hill, North Carolina. Rural filling stations become community centers and general loafing grounds. Cedargrove Team members about to play in a baseball game. Dorothea Lange
  49. 49. July 1939, Person County, North Carolina. Wife and child of tobacco sharecropper. The littlest girl comes in from outside for something to eat while Mother is doing her housework. The child next to the baby is called in this country the "knee baby." Dorothea Lange
  50. 50. August 1939. Migratory children living in "Ramblers Park." They have lived on the road for three years. Nine children in the family. Yakima Valley, Washington. Dorothea Lange
  51. 51. Coldwater District north of Dalhart, Texas. This house is occupied; most of the houses here have been abandoned. Dorothea Lange
  52. 52. August 1936. Family between Dallas and Austin, Texas. The people have left their home and connections in South Texas, and hope to reach the Arkansas Delta for work in the cotton fields. Penniless people. No food and three gallons of gas in the tank. The father is trying to repair a tire. Three children. Father says, "It's tough but life's tough anyway you take it." Dorothea Lange
  53. 53. The End