Eyes of the Great Depression 080.

Migrant Mother by Dorothea Lange -- eyes

Destitute pea pickers in California. Mother of seven children. Age thirty-two. Nipomo, California; photo by Dorothea Lange in February or March 1936.

This photo is a version of the image known as the “Migrant Mother.” It was printed before the original negative was retouched, a process that included erasing the thumb holding the tent pole in the lower right hand corner.

Migrant Mother by Dorothea Lange

Dorothea Lange was in a rush the day she took this photo and, uncharacteristically didn’t collect pertinent information about her subjects, including their names.  “Lange’s somber portrait has achieved near mythical status, symbolizing, if not defining, an entire era in our nation’s history.” Unfortunately, most of the associated information was misleading and incorrect.

An interesting article on the photograph and it’s subject, a lady named Florence Owens Thompson, can be found archived online:  Photographic license by Geoffrey Dunn, ©2002 New Times Magazine, San Luis Obispo, CA USA


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