'Migrant Mother, Nipomo, California'

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Dorothea Lange (1895-1965); Gelatin Silver

This iconic portrait of a mother and her three children was taken in the USA in 1936. The family lived in a tent in a pea-pickers camp in Nipomo Valley, California. Dorothea Lange took this photograph whilst working for the Farm Security Administration (FSA), who created an extensive photographic record of the Depression in America between 1935 and 1943.

We're happy for you to share this digital image within the spirit of The Commons. Certain restrictions on high quality reproductions of the original physical version of apply though; if you're unsure please visit the National Media Museum website.

For obtaining reproductions of selected images please go to the Science and Society Picture Library.

alphadesigner, eurochild_87, LeNoREe, and 654 other people added this photo to their favorites.

View 20 more comments

  1. deckhand 46 months ago | reply

    You know how they say that you rarely hear Beethoven's Fifth Symphony because everybody plays it? This is one of those iconic photographic equivalents: so ubiquitous that you never see it anywhere.

    Seeing it here was a nice surprise.

  2. Rory Trappe 46 months ago | reply

    A very powerful image.

  3. porph 45 months ago | reply

    A practical face of humanity.

  4. sesibone 45 months ago | reply

    This is quite a photo that some of us may remember seeing at another time in the past. Thank you for sharing National Media Museum. I've just started a new gallery to include this, come and take a peek if you'd like.

  5. Zoemies... 45 months ago | reply

    excellent capture!

  6. Avi Ben Perez 44 months ago | reply

    what a beautiful photo,sad,hope..woried..all in one single shot.masterpiece

  7. San1610 44 months ago | reply

    There's emotion in the picture and because it is a black / white picture it is further emphasized.

  8. Esdras Jaimes 43 months ago | reply


  9. IACUBINO DOMENICO 43 months ago | reply

    Fantastica, catturare un attimo così interessante, espressivo, veramente bella.

  10. Norskejenta1 [deleted] 42 months ago | reply

    Poor Families, that tried so hard to endure. Children were ashamed and very bashful because of their Poverty. This is a Great Photo to show how even People in America Suffered and it continues today. This picture makes sure we don't forget the past .

  11. Tammy Wilson (T.Wilson Photography) 42 months ago | reply

    Talk about a picture being worth a thousand words...amazing!!!

  12. Norskejenta1 [deleted] 42 months ago | reply

    Oh my Gosh, I didn't notice the baby at the bottom of the Photo. They were enduring poor times. Poor Mommie and Children.

  13. javelinjane 40 months ago | reply

    my heart breaks. she looks so worried

  14. Sole & Luna 37 months ago | reply

    This photo is amazing!

  15. Zeno Watson 35 months ago | reply

    What a fine photo!

  16. guiomar sirigatti 34 months ago | reply

    ola pessoal!!
    eu já vi esta foto numa exposição na Caixa Cultural de Curitiba PR Brasil
    muito expressiva!!!

  17. pchorsedoc 23 months ago | reply

    Even from the thumbnail I thought "Grapes of Wrath"

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