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Dorothea Lange’s America to Open at Lebanon Valley College

Dorothea Lange (American, 1895-1965), Migrant Mother, Nipomo, California, 1936, gelatin silver print, 32 x 26 inches, art2art Circulating Exhibitions

Dorothea Lange’s America will run from Jan. 25–March 24, 2019, at the Suzanne H. Arnold Art Gallery of Lebanon Valley College. 

The Great Depression (1929–1939) was the catalyst for a tremendous outburst of creative energy in America’s photographic community. The devastation wreaked on the country inspired a host of socially conscious photographers to capture the painful stories of the time. This exhibition features the work of Dorothea Lange (American, 1895–1965) and 13 of these artists. Lange’s empathetic images of migrant workers, suffering families, and tortured landscapes seared the faces of the Depression into America’s consciousness.

This exhibition includes culturally-celebrated works such as Lange’s White Angel Breadline (1933), Migratory Cotton Picker (1940), and her ever-iconic photograph Migrant Mother (1936). All works in Dorothea Lange’s America are drawn from the private collection of Michael Mattis and Judith Hochberg and organized by art2art Circulating Exhibitions. Students in LVC’s spring 2017 course, The Photograph, wrote descriptive labels for the exhibition.

The opening reception for will take place Friday, Jan. 25, from 5–7 p.m. in Zimmerman Recital Hall in the Gallery. The reception is free and open to the public.

Additional events related to the exhibit include:

Colloquium Lecture | Jan. 30, 4:30 p.m. 
Dorothea Lange and Photography for Social Justice
Dr. Linda Gordon, Florence Kelley Professor of History, New York University 

Her book Dorothea Lange: A Life Beyond Limits (2009) won the Los Angeles Times Book Award for best biography and the American Historical Association’s Bancroft Prize for best book in US history.   


Musical Lecture | Feb. 7, 5 p.m. 
“Who Cares If Banks Fail in Yonkers”: The Songs of the Great Depression 
Michael Lasser, lecturer, writer, broadcaster, critic, and teacher
Illustrated by period musical recordings  


Photography Workshop | Feb. 16, 9 a.m.–3 p.m. 
Room 185, Clyde A. Lynch ’18 Memorial Hall
Black and White Portraits: Capturing the Human Presence 
Andrew Bale, professional photographer and lecturer in art and art history at Dickinson College

Registration information and form here.


Colloquium Film Series | March 11, 5:15 p.m.
Allen Theater, 36 East Main St., Annville
And Then They Came for Us (2017)

Beginning in 1942, one of the worst violations of constitutional rights in American history was the registration and incarceration of Japanese Americans. Dorothea Lange’s re-discovered documentary photographs for the U.S. government provide a telling witness to this action in this documentary film that continues to resonate today.


All events are held in Zimmerman Recital Hall of the Suzanne H. Arnold Gallery unless otherwise noted.

The Pennsylvania Council on the Arts, The McCormick Family Foundation, Lebanon Valley College, and contributing members of the Friends of the Gallery provided support for this exhibition.  

Gallery Hours are Wednesday, 5–8 p.m., Thursday and Friday, 1–4:30 p.m., Saturday and Sunday, 11 a.m.–5 p.m., and by appointment for groups. 

Please contact the Gallery at 717-867-6445 or to arrange a private Gallery talk for your school or organization.