Quick Book Review: “Dorothea Lange: Words & Pictures” by Sarah Hermanson Meister (MoMA)

Dorothea Lange was an amazing photographer.  She created many iconic images, such as White Angel Bread Line, One Nation Indivisible, and her most famous, Migrant Mother.  Her Depression-era photographs were pioneering, and are especially incredible considering so few women were active in photography at that time.  Her writing, however, has received much less attention, as have the textual descriptions and captions that she assigned to her photos.  Last year, the Museum of Modern Art (MoMA) had an exhibit called Dorothea Lange: Words & Pictures, which showed some of her finest photos, with emphasis on the words that have accompanied them through the years.  This book is the official MoMA companion to the exhibit.  Besides reproducing some of her amazing photos, there are photographs of articles that she had written for various magazines.  The print is small, but readable.  There are also photos of the pages of books she had written, showing the specific captions that she had written for certain photos.  A few of her photos are analyzed in detail, pointing out some things that I would never have realized on my own.  I loved the exhibit (I went twice), and this book helps me relive it.  For people who didn’t get to see the exhibit, the book is nice to have and is a nice addition to anyone’s photobook collection.  

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