Migrant Mother, a timeless image of hardship and courage and Dorothea Lange's most iconic image, was made under the auspices of the Farm Security Administration (FSA) initiative during America's Great Depression. While walking through a pea picker's camp on the way home from an FSA field trip; Lange noticed this thirty-two year old woman with her seven children. There was no work and they were living on wild birds caught by the children. She could not move on, she told Lange, because she had sold the tires from her car for food. The second photogravure edition of Migrant Mother, printed by Aperture in conjunction with the Dorothea Lange Collection of the Oakland Museum, California, is an excellent addition to any collector's portfolio.
Dorothea Lange (born in Hoboken, New Jersey, 1895; died in Berkeley, California, 1965) received her photography training in New York City with Clarence H. White, Arnold Genthe, and others. In 1918, she moved to San Francisco where she opened a successful portrait studio, and lived across the bay in Berkeley for the rest of her life. From 1935 to 1939, she documented rural poverty for the federal Resettlement Administration (RA) and Farm Security Administration (FSA). Distributed free to newspapers across the country, her poignant images became icons of the era. Later in her life she photographed Japanese Americans in internment camps, and traveled throughout Europe and Asia.