Collection Online

Migrant Mother, Nipomo, California
(1936); (c. printed 1975)

Medium
gelatin silver photograph
Measurements
49.4 × 39.6 cm (image) 50.6 × 40.7 cm (sheet)
Place/s of Execution
Nipomo, California, United States
Accession Number
PH90-1975
Department
International Photography
Credit Line
National Gallery of Victoria, Melbourne
Purchased, 1975
© Library of Congress, FSA Collection © Library of Congress
Gallery location
Not on display
About

Migrant mother is an iconic image of the Great Depression of the 1930s. In 1936, photographer Dorothea Lange was returning home from a month-long assignment for the Farm Security Administration when she came across a group of itinerant farm workers. These people had hoped to find work picking peas, but on their arrival at the farm found the crop had been destroyed by frost. Now destitute, this woman and her children were starving and reduced to living in a makeshift tent on the side of the road. Lange was so moved by their plight that she sent her photographs to the San Francisco News. The publication of this photograph struck an emotional chord with the people of the United States, and aid flooded in from around the country.