By Kerry Acker
Discusses the lifestyles and paintings of the 20th century American photographer, Dorothea Lange.
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Extra resources for Dorothea Lange (Women in the Arts)
That place was my life,” she said. Every day at five o’clock, people would drop by and drink tea from the coal-heated samovar and eat teacakes. Playwrights, writers, musicians, and others filled her studio with lively discussions about art and politics as jazz music played on the phonograph. ” (Partridge, 25) She soon found out that those steps belonged to the Western wilderness painter Maynard Dixon, a friend of Roi Partridge and Imogen Cunningham. Dixon was a popular character who loomed large in the San Francisco bohemian crowd.
After she spent time on a friend’s estate in the mountains, where she made some photographs, she said, “I tried to photograph the young pine trees there and I tried to photograph some stumps, and I tried to photograph in the late afternoon the way the sunlight comes through some big-leafed plants with a horrible name, skunk cabbage, with big pale leaves and the afternoon sun showing all the veins. I tried to photograph those things because I like them. ” (Ohrm, 21) One day during the Sierra Nevada trip, while Lange was enjoying some tranquil moments alone outside, she had something of an epiphany, spurred on by nature.
Although she spent much of her time traveling and documenting the troubles of American people, Lange seems to have enjoyed the domestic side of life. This photograph stands in strong contrast to her documentary work; it is light and almost whimsical. ) In her later years, Lange was able to explore domestic life even more fully. 55 56 DOROTHEA LANGE that it was necessary. And the couple had other difficulties, too. Lange and Consie were still not getting along, and Dixon, with his defiantly populist ideals, often teased Lange about what he considered her elitism.