Here’s your chance to own an original print of Dorothea Lange’s ‘Migrant Mother’

Dorothea Lange's "Migrant Mother"
Dorothea Lange’s “Migrant Mother”. Dorothea Lange

An original print of Dorothea Lange’s famous—and somewhat controversialMigrant Mother photo from the Great Depression will be auctioned off next/this month by Hindman, a fine art auction house. The 19.125 x 14.75-inch silver gelatin print was made by Lange or under her direct supervision some time in the 1950s. 

Florence Owens Thompson, the Migrant Mother

Migrant Mother was shot by Lange in Nipomo, California, in 1936 while on an assignment documenting the plight of impoverished farmers for the Farm Security Administration (FSA).

In a 1960 interview with this publication, Lange explained:

 I saw and approached the hungry and desperate mother, as if drawn by a magnet. I do not remember how I explained my presence or my camera to her, but I do remember she asked me no questions. I made five exposures, working closer and closer from the same direction. I did not ask her name or her history. She told me her age, that she was thirty-two. She and her children had been living on frozen vegetables from the field and wild birds the children caught. The pea crop had frozen; there was no work. Yet they could not move on, for she had just sold the tires from the car to buy food. There she sat in that lean-to tent with her children huddled around her, and seemed to know that my pictures might help her, and so she helped me. There was a sort of equality about it.

The image was widely circulated throughout the US after it was shot. The unnamed Migrant Mother was seen as a role model for the poor and dispossessed, and, according to Hindman, established Lange as a “socially-conscious and uncompromising photojournalist.”

It wasn’t until the 1970s that …