Feb 25, 2020 - Sale 2531

Sale 2531 - Lot 117

Price Realized: $ 9,375
?Final Price Realized includes Buyer’s Premium added to Hammer Price
Estimate: $ 4,000 - $ 6,000
DOROTHEA LANGE (1895-1965)
Family walking on highway, five children. Silver print, the image measuring 14 7/8x18 7/8 inches (37.8x47.9 cm.), the sheet 16x20 inches (40.6x50.8 cm.), with a Library of Congress hand stamp and the RA number, in pencil, in an unknown hand, on verso. 1938; printed circa 1960

Additional Details

From the Collection of attorney Samuel Slaff; by descent to the Present Owner. This Lange print was apparently gifted Slaff in recognition of his landmark Supreme Court case Edwards v. People of State of California 314 U.S. 160 (1941) in which a California law prohibiting the bringing of a non-resident "indigent person" into the state was struck down as unconstitutional. Lange's powerful image of an indigent family on the road speaks to the importance of this landmark decision and lends an intimate perspective on the Dust Bowl, which pushed families and desperate individuals to move in search of work and resources.

The rest of Lange's caption reads: "Started from Idabel, Oklahoma. Bound for Krebs, Oklahoma. Pittsburg County, Oklahoma. In 1936 the father farmed on thirds and fourths at Eagleton, McCurtain County, Oklahoma. Was taken sick with pneumonia and lost farm. Unable to get work on Work Prjects Administration and refused county relief in county of fifteen years residence because of temporary residence in another county after his illness."