Migrant Fathers: Tender Portraits of Dust Bowl Dads
Revisiting the Library of Congress in search of a counterpart to Dorothea Lange's famous 'Migrant Mother.'
Dorothea Lange's 1936 portrait of the "Migrant Mother" may very well be one of the most iconic photos ever taken in the United States. On a month-long trip to document migratory labor camps in California for the Farm Security Administration (FSA), Lange made several portraits of Florence Owens Thompson and her children, a haunting look of worry and uncertainty frozen upon a mother's face, her children clinging to her shoulder.
The portraits were published first in the San Francisco News before being distributed across the nation by the FSA. Described by Edward Steichen as “the most remarkable human documents ever rendered in pictures,” the images of Thompson resonated immediately with viewers—emotionally evocative and encapsulating of the hard times