The Propaganda Behind Dorothea Lange’s Migrant Mother Photograph

4 April 2015
An examination of of Dorothea Lange’s involvement in parliament and the controversies caused by her photograph, `Migrant Mother`.

This paper examines Dorothea lange’s famous controversial photograph: Migrant Mother. The author looks at how the photograph became a symbol for propaganda for the New Deal. This photograph caused a stir in the government and became a controversial topic. The author looks at the career of Dorothea Lange and her involvement in government.

From the paper:

Dorothea Lange’s documentary photograph, Migrant Mother, became a symbol for a plethora of causes after successfully being created as propaganda to legitimize the New Deal. When Dorothea Lange shot Migrant Mother, she had completed her transition from portraitist to documentary photography and was working with the Farm Security Administration. Lange’s work was required to fit the New Deal’s ideology handed down from the Roosevelt administration. In order to achieve these mandates, Lange significantly manipulated her subjects.

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Due to these actions, her photograph is easily adaptable. Migrant Mother not only catalyzed relief aid to the migrants; people later manipulated it into other symbols.

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Choose cite format:
The Propaganda Behind Dorothea Lange's Migrant Mother Photograph. (2015, Apr 23). Retrieved December 6, 2019, from
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