The Story of the “Migrant Mother” [pbs.org]
As the United States sank into the Great Depression, a photographer named Dorothea Lange turned her attention away from studio and portrait work toward the suffering she was seeing around her. After taking a job as a photographer for the Resettlement Administration, a New Deal agency tasked with helping poor families relocate, Lange one day found herself in Nipomo, California, at a campsite full of out-of-work pea pickers. The crop had been destroyed by freezing rain; there was nothing to pick. Lange approached one of the idle pickers, a woman sitting in a tent, surrounded by her seven children, and asked if she could photograph them.