Dorothea Lange's "Migrant Mother" Photographs in the Farm Security Administration Collection: An Overview
The photograph that has become known as "Migrant Mother" is one of a series of photographs that Dorothea Lange made of Florence Owens Thompson and her children in February or March of 1936 in Nipomo, California. Lange was concluding a month's trip photographing migratory farm labor around the state for what was then the Resettlement Administration. In 1960, Lange gave this account of the experience: 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. The images were made using a Graflex camera. There are no known restrictions on the use of Lange's "Migrant Mother" images. Images in the series are as follows (select the small image to view larger versions through the Prints & Photographs Online Catalog): Contemporary Publications in Which "Migrant Mother" Was Featured: -----.