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DOROTHEA LANGE (1895–1965)
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DOROTHEA LANGE (1895–1965)

White Angel Bread Line, San Francisco, 1933

DOROTHEA LANGE (1895–1965)
White Angel Bread Line, San Francisco, 1933
gelatin silver print, printed early 1950s
stamped photographer's Euclid Avenue credit (verso)
image: 13 3/8 x 10 1/2 in. (34 x 26.6 cm.)
sheet: 14 x 11 in. (35.7 x 28 cm.)
Lee Gallery, Winchester, Massachusetts;
acquired from the above by the present owner, 2005.
Exhibition catalogue, The Family of Man, The Museum of Modern Art, New York, 1955, p. 151.
Dorothea Lange: Photographs of a Lifetime, Aperture, New York, 1982, p. 45.
Therese Thau Heyman, Sandra S. Phillips and John Szarkowski, Dorothea Lange: American Photographs, San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, 1994, pl. 1.
Karen Tsujimoto, Dorothea Lange, Archive of an Artist, Oakland Museum, 1995, p. 9.
Keith F. Davis, The Photographs of Dorothea Lange, Harry N. Abrams, New York, 1996, cover and p. 21.
Barbara Haskell, The American Century: Art and Culture, 1900-1950, Whitney Museum of American Art, New York, 1999, pl. 483.
Pierre Borhan, Dorothea Lange: The Heart and Mind of a Photographer, Bulfinch, Boston, 2002, p. 71.
Special notice

On occasion, Christie's has a direct financial interest in the outcome of the sale of certain lots consigned for sale. This will usually be where it has guaranteed to the Seller that whatever the outcome of the auction, the Seller will receive a minimum sale price for the work. This is known as a minimum price guarantee. This is such a lot.

Lot Essay

The print in the present lot is Dorothea Lange’s earliest well-known documentary-style photograph, a moving image that depicts a solitary figure with hands clasped, well-worn hat pulled low on his brow, and turned away from a gathering of poverty-stricken men waiting in a breadline at a San Francisco soup kitchen. This particular soup kitchen was independently run, with no outside funding, by Lois Jordan, a wealthy widow known to locals as the White Angel. Jordan is credited with feeding roughly one million men over a several year period.

Taken during the throes of the Great Depression, Lange’s image and photographic work at the time led to her employment with the Federal Resettlement Administration (RA), which later became the Farm Security Administration (FSA). Under these programs, photographers and writers were brought on board to document the plight of the poor across the country. The Information Division of the FSA, under the direction of Roy Stryker, adopted a goal of 'introducing America to Americans.'

Prints of this image reside in permanent collections including the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, the Museum of Modern Art, New York, and the Oakland Museum of California.

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