Sunday, May 3, 2009

Picking Peas In California ~ 1936

The photographs that Dorothea Lange made from 1935-1939 for the Farm Services Administration were distributed free to newspapers during the Great Depression and brought national awareness to widespread rural poverty and the difficulties faced by migrant workers.

Lange made this picture in 1936, when millions of people were displaced from the Midwest by the Dust Bowl and migrated west, seeking employment in farming communities up and down the state of California. A note in the margin of the photograph reads: "Ma'am, I've picked peas from Calipatria to Ukiah. This life is simplicity boiled down". This couple, with their makeshift home on wheels, actually had it better than most.

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