Dorothea Lange. Biography And Analysis Of Dorothea Lange And Her Work.

1425 words - 6 pages

During the Great Depression, many photographers captured the scenes of poverty and grief. According to Roy Stryker, Dorothea Lange had the most sensitivity and the most rapport with people . Dorothea Lange was a phenomenal photographer who seized the hearts of people during the 1930s, and greatly affected the times of the Great Depression.Dorothea Lange was born on May 26, 1895 in Hoboken, New Jersey. When she was seven years old, she had become lame from polio. Polio handicapped her right leg from the knee down. Lange said in reference to her childhood illness that "I think it was the most important thing that happened to me. It formed me, guided me, instructed me, helped me, and humiliated me ." When she was twelve years old, her father deserted the family and she never saw or heard from him ever again. Her mother took a job in New York's Lower East Side and Dorothea attended public school there. She attended an all-girls school called Wadleigh High School. During her high school years, she did not have many friends. However, being a loner helped her develop traits that helped her as a photographer. Lacking friends and a teenager's social life, Lange spent time seeing and appreciating the visual images of the everyday life of diverse and busy neighborhoods of New York City . She graduated from high school in 1913 and soon decided to pursue her life as a photographer. In 1918, Dorothea Lange set out for San Francisco and worked at a photo-finishing company. She soon opened up her own portrait studio. She was very successful in her studio and even established a group of friends for the first time in her life. In 1920, she married Maynard Dixon, who was twenty years older than she was. She became one of the most popular portrait photographers in San Francisco. When she went on a trip to Arizona, she took pictures outside of her studio for the first time. This was where she first encountered people who were swallowed in poverty, hopelessness, and humiliation. She soon came to a realization. Lange said, "It suddenly came to me that what I had to do was take pictures and concentrate upon people. Only people, all kinds of people, people who paid me and people who didn't ." This affected her personal life in many ways.In the late 1920s, she had two sons. It was hard for her to juggle being a mother, wife, and a photographer, so her children were often boarded out. As the Great Depression slowly approached, tensions grew in her marriage with Dixon.The stock market crash made her studio photography irrelevant since a majority of the population could not afford to have their pictures taken. During this period, she became aware of all the unemployed people around her. It was during the Great Depression where her greatest pieces of work developed. During the first years of the depression, fourteen million people were jobless. There was a rich woman known as the White angel near Dorothea Lange's photo studio. This woman set up a bread line for the people in...

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