30 oct. 2009

Migrant Mother.
Of all the many thousands of photographs that came out of this government-sponsored enterprise, none was more instantly affecting or has remained more famous than Dorothea Lange's Migrant Mother. Taken in February 1936 at a pea pickers' camp near Nipomo, seventy miles northwest of Santa Barbara, it was published in the San Francisco News the following month, when it resulted in $200,000 in donations from appalled readers. In 1998, it became a 32¢ stamp in the Celebrate the Century series, with the caption "America Survives the Depression." For a long while now, I've tried to observe a self-imposed veto on the overworked words "icon" and "iconic," but in the exceptional case of Migrant Mother it's sorely tempting to lift it.
(American Pastoral)

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