Dorothea Lange and the Documentary Tradition

Dorothea Lange

Dorothea Lange (1895-1965) believed in photography’s ability to reveal social conditions, educate the public, and prompt action. Though she is best known for her depression-era photographs that came to shape our view of one of the most tumultuous eras of American history, the career of Dorothea Lange was long and varied. Her keen interest in the lives of ordinary people led her to travel and photograph diverse subjects across the U.S. and around the world. A full biography on Lange and a description of the bodies of work held in the MoCP collection can be found here. The curriculum here focuses on Lange’s work documenting the Dust Bowl for the Farm Security Administration and her photographs documenting the internment of Japanese Americans for the War Relocation Authority.  The MoCP holds over 500 original works by Lange from a generous donation from Katharine Taylor Loesch. 


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Museum of Contemporary Photography

at Columbia College Chicago
600 South Michigan Avenue
Chicago, IL 60605

(312) 663-5554

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  • Monday: 10:00 am - 5:00 pm
  • Tuesday: 10:00 am - 5:00 pm
  • Wednesday: 10:00 am - 5:00 pm
  • Thursday: 10:00 am - 8:00 pm
  • Friday: 10:00 am - 5:00 pm
  • Saturday: 10:00 am - 5:00 pm
  • Sunday: 12:00 pm - 5:00 pm

The MoCP is CLOSED when Columbia College Chicago is closed, including all major holidays. The MoCP is also closed between exhibitions for installation. Be sure to check our homepage before your visit.

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