Dorothea Lange was born Dorothea Nutzhorn on May 26, 1895, in Hoboken, New Jersey and died October 11, 1965, in San Francisco, CA. Her father, Heinrich Nutzhorn, was a lawyer, and her mother, Johanna, stayed at home to raise Dorothea and her brother, Martin.
Art and literature were big parts of Lange’s upbringing. Her parents were both strong advocates for her education, and exposure to creative works filled her childhood. Following high school, she attended the New York Training School for Teachers in 1913. Lange, who’d never shown much interest in academics, decided to pursue photography as a profession after a stint working in a NYC photo studio. By 1918, Lange was living in San Francisco and soon running a successful portrait studio.
Dorothea Lange was a photographer whose portraits of displaced farmers during the Great Depression greatly influenced later documentary photography. Her photography was very dark and sad since her photographs were taken during a sad and depressing time.
During the Great Depression, Dorothea Lange photographed the unemployed men who wandered the streets. Her photographs of migrant workers were often presented with captions featuring the words of the workers themselves. Lange’s first exhibition, held in 1934, established her reputation as a skilled documentary photographer. In 1940, she received the Guggenheim Fellowship.
Lange studied photography at Columbia University in New York City under Clarence H. White, a member of the Photo-Secession group. In 1918 she decided to travel around the world, earning money as she went by selling her photographs.
Langer's photography's are very dramatic and depressing. She used very dramatic angles to express the sadness of an event. Her photographs are very light and seem to always be taken in the day. The mood of this photo is very sad and you can tell that because of the expression and the women's face, she looks very worried or sad about something and so do the children.
Her images of Depression-era America made her one of the most acclaimed documentary photographers of the twentieth century.