Dorothea lange


Born: Hoboken, New Jersey, United States, 1895
Died: San Francisco, California, United States, 1965

Lange’s childhood was marked by disability (from polio) and personal loss (her father deserted the family when she was 12). She learned large-format portraiture at the Clarence White School in New York in 1917. Moving to San Francisco in 1918, she set up a successful portrait studio and married the Western painter Maynard Dixon in 1920. After 1929, Dixon and Lange drifted apart, and from 1932 she progressively abandoned portraiture for social documentation.

From 1934-9, Lange worked closely with Paul S. Taylor (her second husband) on social problems of the rural depression, in part for the Farm Security Administration. A Guggenheim award in 1941 was followed by work on US internment camps for Japanese nationals. Post-war, she traveled extensively with her husband, and spent 1954-55 as a photographer for Life.

Book by Dorothea lange

  • American Photographs 1994

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