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December 16, 2022

Dorothea Lange: Seeing People

Dorothea Lange, "Human Erosion in California (Migrant Mother)"

Dorothea Lange
Human Erosion in California (Migrant Mother), March 1936
gelatin silver print
image: 34.1 x 26.8 cm (13 7/16 x 10 9/16 in.)
The J. Paul Getty Museum, Los Angeles, 98.XM.162

Dorothea Lange: Seeing People
National Gallery of Art, Washington, November 5, 2023–March 31, 2024

During her long, prolific, and groundbreaking career, the American photographer Dorothea Lange (1895–1965) made some of the most iconic portraits of the 20th century. Dorothea Lange: Seeing People reframes Lange’s work through the lens of portraiture, highlighting her unique ability to discover and reveal the character and resilience of those she photographed. Featuring some 100 photographs, the exhibition addresses her innovative approaches to picturing people, emphasizing her work on social issues including economic disparity, migration, poverty, and racism.

Dorothea Lange: Seeing People examines Lange’s decades-long investigation into how portrait photography could articulate the values of the people she recorded. It also demonstrates how her pictures helped to shape contemporary documentary practice by illuminating aspects of American history, from the Great Depression through the 1950s, that resonate with social issues in the 21st century.

This exhibition is curated by Philip Brookman, consulting curator in the department of photographs, National Gallery of Art.

The exhibition is organized by the National Gallery of Art, Washington.

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