Migrant Mother: the Famous Image of Poverty and Suffering
The photo that could be the most known and recognizable about the time were destruction, suffer, poverty and death invaded United States, and later on spread out through the rest of North America and Europe. This famous picture is called Migrant Mother taken by Dorothea Lange (1936), one of the most famous photographers at that time. The protagonist is Florence Owens Thompson, a thirty-two years old mother, that experienced all the consequences that made Great Depression part of the history. This photo has a big power to speak by itself that make people transport back to this time and feel what it was like to have lived what this mother did and so many other families. This photo became significant that it is recognizable as a symbol to remember the Great Depression, because the impact it creates capturing the extreme hardship and poverty that many families suffered during it.
This photo transmits the reality that once was lived on the land. This is because the person it is real with real problems. The viewer can perceive all of these because the feelings, emotions and all that she had been through can be sensed throughout the photo. The desperation and preoccupation of this mother to feed her children, it is noticeable in her face, and this natural expression makes this photo came alive. Lange said that she did not remember explained her presence and camera, but she did not say anything about it, the only thing that woman told her was that “they had been living on frozen vegetables from the surrounding fields, and birds that the children killed” (Austin 341). The situation was very extreme that made this anguish mother take desperate decisions, that she agreed to let her take these photos with the hope that some day this will help her in some way. The viewer can be sensed of all of these thrills that this woman once felt by just looking at this potent picture.
Even though she became the face of this era for years nobody knew anything about this woman, which had the hope of believe that putting a face to this era everything might get better for her and family. The concern about this entire photo is what the reporter Emmett Corrigan found about her. He found her living in a mobile home and she expressed “…frustration and anger the picture that had made her face famous had never helped her or her family in any way” (341). This caused some kind of conscience to many people, because she had became an emblem to remember this era and she was not support by this famous image. Although, everything that happened to her was very lamentable, the thoughtfulness that started to grow that at the end she received her reward. When people knew that she was about to die for cancer, many Americans collected a contribution of more than $30,000 to help her in her duties. The impact that this photo caused to the people and even still does is impressive.
The photo has travelled through the world making this woman as the face of this unfortunately era, is still moving hearts through the globe to look back on what this mother represent. The valuable part of this photo is that no matter how many years pass, the face of this desperate mother always will be remember as the one who put a face of the Great Depression.
Dorothea Lange: Life, Biography, Photos
This report is about Dorothea Lange. The main reason I choose her was because, she was a women and I thought I could probable wright better about her for that reason.
Dorthea was born in 1895 and died in 1965. Dorthea’s first photographic job was as a commercial portrait photographer in San Francisco in the 1920’s. Her first independent work was taking pictures of native American’s in the southwest with her first husband Maynard Dixon.
In the early 1930 Dorthea got tired of the working in the studio so she decided to head to the streets. By this time the Great Depression was underway. She was living in California and had access to a lot of out of work people. Now she was with her second husband Paul Schuster Taylor, documenting the struggles of all the people in need . Dorthea would take the pictures of the people and Paul would write essay’s to go with them. She took pictures of family’s migrating west to look for job that didn’t exist, she took pictures of the dust bowl and of other numerous thing’s. Thing’s that showed the truth of the Depression, what was really happening. During this time she took what is probably her most famous picture “Migrant Mother” this picture was a recognized symbol of the migrant life style. Her pictures showed a urgent need for government assistants in America. If you think about it, if the Great Depression would of never happened then I probably wouldn’t be doing a report on Dorthea Lange because thats what really set her career off. So, I guess that would be a major event that influenced her in her work.
The beginning of WW II brought her to a new turning point in photography. During the war Dorothea took very vivid pictures of the forced relocation of Japanese American citizens, they were placed in internment camps. She also took pictures of minority’s and women workers in the shipyards. This showed that everyone could work equally so why shouldn’t they be treated equally. These pictures were some of her last pictures taken in America because she was stricken with illness. In the 1950’s and 60’s she over came her illness by a little and traveled to Ireland, Asia, Egypt, and Midwestern utopian to take a lot of beautiful pictures. I think I would of liked to of met her just about this time in her life, the reason being I think she would had a lot of answers for a lot questions I have. I think her style of photography is very unique in it’s own way. It has a sort or calmness about it, but also a sadness and a touch of reality.
After her death in 1965 Dorothea Lange’s great collection of photograph’s became a gift to the Oakland Museum of California from her husband , Paul Schuster Taylor. The most Interesting thing I leaned about Dorothea Lange would have to be that, she never wrote a book documenting her life and all of her great adventures threw out her life.
A Concept of the Migrant Mother in Dorothea Lange’s the Gateway to the Art
Gateway to Art: Dorothea Lange, Migrant Mother
Dorothea Lange’s “Migrant Mother”, is a black and white photograph that depicts a homeless woman and her three children in a pea pickers camp in Nipomo California. The mother is holding an infant in her left arm while her two slightly older kids are resting their turned heads on her shoulders. Light shines on the woman’s arm and worried face as her right hand gently touches her cheek. Very little of the surrounding is shown besides what appears to be a part of a wooden pole in the foreground and a canvas in the background.
This photograph was taken in 1936, during the Great Depression. Lange had been hired by a government agency, now know as the Farm Security Administration, to report on the social, economic and living conditions in the rural areas of the United States. “Migrant Mother” is now considered one of the most famous and frequently reproduced photographs of American social history.
Although photography is not considered a time-based art, the photographer is still very much concerned with the attributes of motion and time. They can achieve this by moving around their subject or by altering the focus of their shot. They use these techniques to help capture what they think is true or convey their message. We get a sense of this process when we look at the “Migrant Mother” series photographer by Lange. The first of six images focuses on the family and their surroundings. In the second frame, the camera moves closer to the tent, but gives little information about this family. As the series continues, the process of selection becomes clear as Lange focuses primarily on the individuals as seen in the sixth frame.
The media and processes section talks about the way Lange went about taking the photograph. She first took six different pictures of Florence Thompson and the most famous one became known as “Migrant Mother”. Lange says that she “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”. Lange was finishing up a trip where she had been photographing migrant farm workers for the Resettlement Administration when she passed the camp where Florence and her children were living. She went back as a second thought and took the six photographs using a Graflex camera.
The theme image of motherhood is depicted as the ideal mother in the Byzantine, Medieval, and Renaissance era. Later artist now show children as more precious than jewels and reveal the interactions of ordinary moments when depicting the theme of the ideal mother. Dorothea Lange captured the intimacy of a family that has very little but each other. The photo offers evidence of a mother’s strength and determination in extreme need. Lange had found the family surviving on frozen vegetables and birds they were able to kill. The photograph draws attention to the nature and bond between mother and children. The mothers face reflects the pressures placed on the family.
Migrant Mother is an iconic piece of American art, which became the focus of much attention during the Great Depression. It has been published many times since the 30’s and has been the subject of debate regarding the ethics of photography. It captures the devastations felt by many during this time and is recognized today as a symbol of people’s despair resulting from continual poverty. Photographs are capable of conveying powerful messages, as this piece clearly demonstrates. Lange herself explained this photo achieved her goal, which she said was “to register the things about those people that were more important than how poor they were, their pride, their strength, their spirit.