Dorothea Lange
White Angel Breadline, San Francisco, 1933

Although Dorothea Lange is best known for the iconic Depression-era photographs she made under the auspices of the Farm Security Administration, this picture is one of her first attempts at street photography, taken well before she began working for the government. It records a hungry person at the White Angel Jungle, a soup kitchen near Lange’s San Francisco studio. Lois Jordan, the "white angel," was a working-class widow of limited resources who relied only on unsolicited donations to run the breadline. Jordan’s compassionate and practical response to human suffering likely contributed to Lange’s decision to leave her portrait studio practice and begin using her camera as a tool for social change.

Artwork Info

Artwork title
White Angel Breadline, San Francisco
Artist name
Dorothea Lange
Date created
1933
Classification
photograph
Medium
gelatin silver print
Dimensions
12 1/4 in. x 10 1/8 in. (31.12 cm x 25.72 cm)
Date Acquired
1963
Credit
Collection SFMOMA
The Henry Swift Collection, gift of Florence Alston Swift
Copyright
© Oakland Museum of California, the City of Oakland, gift of Paul S. Taylor
Permanent URL
https://www.sfmoma.org/artwork/63.19.126
Artwork Status
Not on view at this time.

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