Migrant Mother


Gelatin silver print

34.3 x 26.7 cm (sheet)

A 32-year-old woman on a California roadside during the Great Depression is flanked by two of her children, their backs turned to the camera, and holds a baby in her arms. The vacant stare of this "migrant mother" with young but worn-out features expressed the distress of a whole generation plunged into poverty.

Dorothea Lange made this iconic portrait for the Farm Security Administration (FSA), which was part of Roosevelt’s New Deal. She documented the ravages of the Depression across the United States and the government's efforts to relocate the internal migrants, mostly former farmers, in search of work.

Considered one of the first examples of American photojournalism, Migrant Mother will be exhibited for the first time by the Pinault Collection during the “Au-delà de la couleur” ("Beyond Color") show at the Couvent des Jacobins in Rennes in June 2021.