Migrant Family, Texas

Dorothea Lange (American, 1895–1965)


Image: 21.8 x 30.6 cm (8 9/16 x 12 1/16 in.) Sheet: 26.3 x 31.9 cm (10 3/8 x 12 9/16 in.)

Accession Number


Medium or Technique

Photograph, gelatin silver print

Not On View


Americas, Photography



Dorothea Lange had a deep-seated belief in photography as a tool for social change. She was hired in the mid-1930s by the Farm Security Administration (FSA) to document the plight of the poor and dispossessed during the Depression. Her empathetic response to her subjects set her work apart from many of her contemporaries. This image depicts a migrant family from Texas trying to escape the drought-stricken Dust Bowl. Telling details are captured in Lange’s characteristically sensitive style, including the shotgun shell held by the solemn child, the mother’s weary stance and bandaged legs, and the father’s hunched form as he crawls under the broken-down truck to repair it.


Lettered on verso: Farm Security Administration/Photograph by Lange/ Date taken Aug. 1936 / Neg. No. 9740-C/ "Migrant Family, Texas"


Stephen White Gallery, Los Angeles, CA; purchased January 1979.

Credit Line

Sophie M. Friedman Fund