I didn’t realize whom Dorothea Lange was, or that I might even recognize any of her work, until I typed her name into Google images hoping to come up with a picture of Dorothea herself. My eyes immediately fell on the worry worn woman, with her furrowed eyebrows and tight lips, and a great “ohh” of understanding left my own.
This photograph of Dorothea Lange’s, “The Migrant Mother,” defines who she is more than any picture of herself could. In one instant, the person behind the soft grays and inky blacks of that picture fit into every History textbook I’d picked up since elementary school and beyond.
And so it is with much more interest than I anticipated that I begin to tell you of the person behind the photographs, and the man whom she first saw as a partner in change, and later as a partner in life.
Lange was born in Hoboken, New Jersey; a setting straight out of a scene from the Jersey Shore, where today fist pumpers and Guidos wander galore. Of course, Lange was unlikely to run into Guidos as she wandered the streets of Hoboken; rather, she lived in a German dominated community.