Migrant Mother, Nipoma, CA, 1936



Numbered verso
Print size: 51 x 40.6 cm
Edition of 500

Only Available

Dorothea Lange took this photograph in 1936, while employed by the U.S. government’s Farm Security Administration (FSA), formed during the Great Depression to raise awareness of and provide aid to impoverished farmers. In Nipomo, California, Lange came across Florence Owens Thompson and her children in a camp filled with field workers whose livelihoods were devastated by the failure of the pea crops. Recalling her encounter with Thompson years later, she said, “I 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.” One of these exposures, with its tight focus on Thompson’s face, transformed her into a Madonna-like figure and became an icon of the Great Depression. It is one of the most famous photographs in history. This image was first exhibited at The Museum of Modern Art in 1940, under the title Pea Picker Family, California; by 1966, when the Museum held a retrospective of Lange’s work, it had acquired its current title, Migrant Mother, Nipomo, California. This photogravure is produced by Aperture (2nd printing) in an edition of 500 with 50 AP’s. This photograph is sold as print only. Please allow 3-6 weeks for the work to be shipped.

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