Depression Era Photo Essay

Depression Era Photo Essay-18
She was principled and defiant and tireless in her pursuit of seeking justice, and I think we have a responsibility to show how that work is still relevant today.As an art institution, we don’t necessarily have a duty to educate, but we do have a duty to inform.” San Francisco, California.She wasn’t an objective social documentarian in the vein of Walker Evans - she was doing the job within the framework of her own humanist philosophy on life.

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Her method was more interdisciplinary, and the retrospective pays particular attention to her practice of blending images with text.

“She was a trailblazing pioneer in her photographs, but her field notes also reveal how she championed an investigative approach to her work,” says Pardo.

The contemplative mother, with her hand grazing her cheek, looks into the distance past Lange’s lens while her three children cling to and crawl up her body, their faces turned from the camera.

Since it was first taken, the image has become a pervasive symbol of the Depression, and in particular represents the mass migration of Americans from the Midwestern states to California that resulted from the catastrophic economic decline.

Regarding Lange’s legacy, associations with such an iconic image have simultaneously been a blessing and a curse.

While the photographer’s name remains a bolded marker in the history of the medium, her career is often overshadowed by the single photograph, leaving far less room for knowledge of her greater oeuvre and impressive pursuits.There’s a lot of vernacular language that accompanies these captions, where she has transcribed, verbatim, what she has been told.” , which presented the work of numerous photographers from the 1950s to today, displaying narratives of counterculture, subcultures and minorities.Pardo posits photography as a particularly apt medium for bringing marginalized voices to the fore, and the exhibition of Lange’s work is a welcome chapter in this programming.She explains, “I often think photography is a reflection of the external world, and will therefore comment on and critique historical social discourses.As a public institution, we have a duty to raise public awareness of these issues.“She was interested in showing the greater context, working in storyboards.She understood how to tell the story that needed to be shown.Broadening Lange’s narrative and contextualizing magazine, first edition copies of breakthrough publications, and Lange’s own field notes and letters.The exhibition begins with a selection of Lange’s pictorial portraits made throughout the 1920s.The work she generated during that time, including is situated within the greater context of the Dust Bowl Migration, when 300,000 people migrated from the Midwestern Dust Bowl states to California in search of stable work.Although Lange’s output during this period centers on the farmers who are vying for work, Pardo notes that the content has another focus: “It’s also about the politics of this time.


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