HW 6 – Dorothea Lange

The assignment is a three paragraph essay as described below. Create a new post with your response by April 17th, 12 noon EST.

Read this short biography of Dorothea Lange.


View White Angel Breadline, San Fransisco. 1933


Write a paragraph describing this photograph. Start by stating: what does this photograph make you feel? Then discuss the specific things in the photograph that communicate the photograph’s meaning. Include the compositional principles that Lange used as well as specifics about the subject matter.

Lange, after documenting the Great Depression in her home city of San Fransisco, went on to work for the federal government documenting it throughout California and the South.

Lange’s most famous photograph of this era is Migrant Mother.


Go to Youtube and search:

Whose Migrant Mother was this?

Watch this video about Lange’s most famous photograph.

Write a paragraph describing the photograph Migrant Mother. Start by describing what you see. What is the subject matter? What are the formal elements (compositional principles) of the photograph that make it visually engaging. What did Lange want to express in this photograph?

In your third paragraph, consider the gap between the people and things in a photograph, what was actually in front of the camera and what the photograph comes to mean. These four people came to symbolize the whole era. What does this photograph mean to you right now as we are locked in our apartments and 10 million people have lost their jobs? The photograph also resulted in aid getting to the migrant camp. There were many inaccuracies in the story told about Florence Thompson and her family that made the subject of the photo wish the photograph had not been taken. Was the overall good worth it?

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