Out of the dry, cracked furrows of the pea fields of California sprouts a line of dusty people. Baskets of freshly picked peas at their feet, they wait for theirs to be weighed.
Working for the Farm Security Administration, Lange photographed migrant workers during the Great Depression. She never posed her subjects, but she had a keen eye for composition and moments of tenderness. Despite the conditions of the times, Lange believed in the strength and grace of human will. Here she captures fatigue and despair but also the casual ease of men taking the rest afforded by the wait and the parental instincts of the woman who glances over her shoulder at the child. The other woman clutches her basket in a manner betraying a need for security, yet her open gaze contains an indication of trust in the intentions of Lange on the other side of the camera.
agriculture; children; food; men; women; labor
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