[Migrant Mother with Two Children, Nipomo, California]
Dorothea Lange (American, 1895–1965)
Gelatin silver print
18.4 x 24.2 cm (7 1/4 x 9 1/2 in. )
Purchase, The Horace W. Goldsmith Foundation Gift through Joyce and Robert Menschel and Jennifer and Joseph Duke Gift, 2000
Not on view
Inscription: Stamped in black ink on print, verso C: "PLEASE CREDIT // F.S.A. // FARM SECURITY ADMINISTRATION // PHOTO BY: LANGE"; inscribed in pencil on print, verso BC: "Migrant agricultural worker // California."; inscribed in pencil on print, verso BL: "Migrants 14[circled]"; incribed in pencil on print, verso BR: "9093-C"
Farm Security Administration; Russell Lee, before 1939; Estate of Doris Lee, first wife of Russell Lee; [Howard Greenberg/Photofind Gallery, Woodstock, New York, 1984]; Estate of Berrien Thorn; [Richard Sheppard/Danbury Antiques, Suttons Bay, MI, 1999].
Original RA/FSA caption for variant of this image (no. 2-31) reads: March 1936. Migrant agricultural worker's family. Seven hungry children. Mother, age thirty-two. Father is a native Californian. Destitute in pea pickers' camp, Nipomo, California, because of the failure of the early pea crop. These people had just sold their tent in order to buy food. Of the 2,500 people in this camp, most of them were destitute. [Dorothea Lange's account differs from the LC caption in certain details: "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. I did not ask her name or her history. She told me her age, that she was 32. She said that they had been living on frozen vegetables from the surrounding fields, and birds that the children killed. She had just sold the tires from her car to buy food. There she sat in that lean-to tent with her children huddled around her, and she thought that my pictures might help her and so she helped me." from Roy Emerson Stryker and Nancy Wood, In This Proud Land, p. 19.] [LC USF34-9093-C]
See also: Library of Congress, Washington, DC, Farm Security Administration (FSA) # 8b29523