Dorothea Lange Research Project

By: Alex Wagner


Dorothea Lange (pictured above) was born May 26, 1895 in Hoboken, New Jersey. In 1918, Lange moved to California in 1918 and had a successful portrait studio. When the Great Depression hit, Lange took the camera outside and focused on the struggles of the people of the times. Although most known for her work the Depression era, Lange also did work outside of it, most significantly being the depictions of Japanese internment camps and co-founding a photographic magazine. She died Obtober 11, 1965 due to esophageal cancer. Lange remains a highly regarded photo journalist.

The Great Depression

Lange is most noted for her work in the Great depression. She initially just took her camera to the street and captured the world around her. Her intriguing and powerful photos caught the attention of many, leading to her employment with the FSA (Farm Security Administration.) Lange traveled over California to capture candids of the people of California during the depression. Her photos became iconic the leading force of the FSA.

Japanese Internment Camps

A major yet lesser known achievement of Dorothea Lange were her depictions of the Japanese in Japanese internment camps during WWII. Her photos, like with the ones from the Great Depression, were true to life and depicted accurate hardships. The photos were critical, so much that they were seized by the government and not released to the public until 50 years later.