Migrant Mother by Dorthea Lange


By Dorothea Lange

This image of a woman and her children is one of the most recognizable images when a person thinks about the Great Depression. It is a very powerful image because it is as if she is lost in her thought, or worry, completely

unaware of Dorothea Lange and her camera. When I first found the image, I knew little about the subjects. I initially assumed the family was either sitting under the rustic- makeshift cover of a Hooverville home or escaping the Dust Bowl by fleeing to California. After learning more about the Great Depression, I discovered the picture was shot by Lange while contracted by the Farms Security Administration, under the New Deal, in 1936. The woman, Florence Thompson, age 32, was a migrant mother of seven traveling to California. The family is hiding in the shade on the side of the road having sold their tires to buy food.

(image: Library of Congress: Migrant Mother by Dorothea Lange)