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Dorothea Lange Words & Pictures

Dorothea Lange Words & Pictures

Artbook | D. A. P.

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In her later years, Dorothea Lange expressed the belief that photographs could be enhanced by accompanying words. Surprisingly, this connection between visual images and written narratives has received little attention, despite Lange's celebrated career as a keen social observer. Through her photographs, Lange captured the essence of everyday life and conveyed compelling stories about the human condition. Dorothea Lange: Words & Pictures, published alongside the first major MoMA exhibition of her work in half a century, brings renewed focus to both her iconic and lesser-known photographs. This comprehensive collection explores Lange's engagement with words, showcasing her interest in art's capacity to raise public awareness and connect with personal narratives.

The book presents Lange's work in various contexts, including photobooks, government reports from the Depression era, newspapers, magazines, and poems. These diverse contexts, accompanied by contributions from contemporary writers, artists, and critical thinkers, offer a nuanced understanding of Lange's career and invite us to reconsider the relationship between words and pictures today. Curator Sarah Hermanson Meister provides an insightful introductory essay, followed by sections organized around significant "words" drawn from historical sources. These sections are enriched with original contributions from a distinguished group of individuals, including Julie Ault, Kimberly Juanita Brown, River Encalada Bullock, Sam Contis, Jennifer Greenhill, Lauren Kroiz, Sally Mann, Sandra Phillips, Wendy Red Star, Christina Sharpe, Rebecca Solnit, Robert Slifkin, and Tess Taylor.

Dorothea Lange, renowned for her intimate portraits, began her career operating a successful portrait studio in San Francisco during the 1920s. She later collaborated with the Resettlement Administration and the Farm Security Administration, documenting the hardships endured during the Great Depression and Dust Bowl migration. During World War II, Lange documented the Japanese American internment camps and California's wartime economy for the US government. Her photographs were widely published during her lifetime. After her death, curator John Szarkowski worked closely on a retrospective exhibition at the Museum of Modern Art, which opened in 1966.

Product Details

  • Product Type: Exhibition Catalog, Hardcover
  • 160 pages, with 145 illustrations
  • Publication Date:
  • Shipping Dimensions: 10.9 × 9.4 × 0.9 inches
    (27.7 × 23.9 × 2.3 cm)
  • Shipping Weight: 2.4 lb (38.4 oz; 1089 g)
  • SKU010003069 | 9781633451049

About the Artist, Dorothea Lange

Dorothea Lange was a pioneering American photographer whose profound images captured the essence of the human experience during one of the most challenging periods in U.S. history. Born in 1895 in Hoboken, New Jersey, Lange developed a passion for photography at a young age. She documented the lives of people affected by the Great Depression, the Dust Bowl, and the internment of Japanese Americans during World War II.

Lange's iconic photographs, such as "Migrant Mother," have become powerful symbols of resilience and social justice. Through her lens, she revealed the hardships faced by marginalized communities and shed light on the inequalities and injustices of the time. Lange's empathetic approach and ability to capture the raw emotions of her subjects made her work deeply impactful and transformative.

Her photographs served as a catalyst for social change, raising awareness and prompting action to address the issues faced by the most vulnerable members of society. Lange's commitment to documenting the human condition and advocating for social justice solidified her position as one of the most influential photographers of the 20th century. Her work continues to inspire and provoke thought, reminding us of the power of photography to shape our understanding of the world and ignite meaningful conversations about social issues.

About Artbook | D. A. P.

Distributed Art Publishers, Inc. is America’s premier source for books on twentieth and twenty-first century art, photography, design and aesthetic culture. Founded in 1990 in downtown New York at a time when fine and sometimes esoteric international art books had a difficult time making their way into the wider American marketplace, over the past three decades D.A.P. has grown into a major international distributor of books, special editions and rare publications from an array of the world’s most respected publishers, museums and cultural institutions.

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