For millions of Americans, Dorothea Lange’s photo of a migrant farmworker with a furrowed brow, clutching two of her children, has come to symbolize the hardships of the Great Depression.
Now, a vast collection of Lange’s photography is viewable online in the Oakland Museum of California’s digital archive of her work, including more than 600 items.
Throughout the 1930s, ’40s and ’50s, Lange traveled the United States documenting people impacted by the economic collapse of 1929 with an empathetic eye. Her personal collection of 6,000 prints and 40,000 negatives are now housed at the OMCA, and they capture many important facets of life in the first half of the 20th century. In addition to portraits of Dust Bowl refugees and migrant workers, Lange captured the horrors of internment of Japanese Americans, the hope of Black Californian shipyard workers during World War II and the journey of migrant workers from Mexico.
All of those pieces and more are now available on the Oakland Museum of California’s website.