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Artist Name:

Dorothea Lange

Nationality & Life Dates:

American, 1895 – 1965

Title:

White Angel Breadline

Date:

1932, printed later

Medium:

Gelatin silver print

Dimensions:

13 1/2 x 10 1/2 inches

Credit Line:

Anonymous gift in honor of Thomas W. Southall

Accession Number:

1998.110

Currently Not on View
Lange was working as a commercial portraitist in Berkeley, California, when she made this image of unemployed workers awaiting a food handout in the early years of the Depression. Her focus on the subtle gesture of a man holding his tin cup between his tired, outstretched arms draws our attention to the individual amid a mass of people. This empathy and photographic skill later distinguished Lange’s approach when she worked for the government’s Resettlement Administration (later renamed the Farm Security Administration, 1935-1942). Her mandate was to create affirmative photographs of the plight of the displaced and the positive effects of the New Deal, but her compassion and respect for her individual subjects always allowed her work to transcend mere propaganda.



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