Toned silver gelatin print, 17.25 x 19.5 finished to 24.5 x 27.5 inches. Collection of the University of Alaska Museum of the North and
In 1932 Dorothea Lange was a photographer working for the Farm Security Administration. She was documenting
the plight of migrant farm workers in California when she came upon her now famous subject, Florence, a 32 year
old mother of seven, living in a lean-to tent in Nipomo, California. Lange made five exposures of Florence and her
children using her 4×5 Graflex camera. According to Florence’s grandson, Lange had promised that her picture
would not be published, but would be used by the government to help the struggling farm workers. And though the
promise was broken, Lange’s image became a symbol for the Dust Bowl era and was instrumental in drawing
attention to the needs of the people in the camps.