Wednesday, October 28, 2009

A Must Read: Dorothea Lange: A Life Beyond Limits

Started reading Linda Gordon's biography, Dorothea Lange: A Life Beyond Limits, recently.  (Dorothea Lange is high on my mental Top 20 Favorite Photographers list, and her work relates heavily to my own current work).  I'm about 30% of the way into it and utterly hooked.

What makes this book better than standard photographer biographies is that Linda Gordon's experience isn't in photography—it's in history.  So, she's able to provide information about contextual events and sentiments going on throughout the country that form the basis for and shape Lange's work and its reception.  For a photographer – and a female photographer at that – during the time period in which Lange was working, that additional background is crucial to understanding her work and the obstacles she overcame in producing it.

A "must read" in my opinion, which I was happy to see was shared this weekend by a review in the NYT:

NY Times: "Picturing the Depression" by David Oshinsky

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