Shortly after Franklin Roosevelt ordered the internment of Japanese Americans in 1942, the War Location Authority hired photographer Dorothea Lange to document the process. I strongly suspect that whoever made the decision knew little about her previous work, but learned that she had worked for the federal government and that she lived in California, where most of the internees lived. She is now recognized as one of the greatest American documentary photographers, even a major influence on the very definition of documentary photography, but in 1942 very few knew her name.
This story originally appeared in the Asia Pacific Journal. Support them here.
|Dorothea Lange Photographing in San Francisco, 1942|
|Lange with Zeiss Juwell camera|
|Toyo Miyatake, Manzanar Internment Camp|
|Dorothea Lange, Mr. Konda and daughter, San Bruno Temporary Assembly Center, 1942|
|Dorothea Lange, 1942. Daughters of Shibuya family in their front yard, Mountain View, Santa Clara County, California|
|Dorothea Lange, Tenant farmer, Chatham County, North Carolina|
|Dorothea Lange, Tanforan Temporary Assembly Center, 1942|
|Dorothea Lange, San Francisco, 1942||Dorothea Lange, San Francisco, 1942. A man just about to board a bus to an assembly center.|
|Ansel Adams photograph, 1943|