Dorothea Lange - Photographs New York Tuesday, October 2, 2012 | Phillips

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  • Provenance

    From the Collection of John Dixon, the artist's son
    Edwynn Houk Gallery, New York

  • Exhibited

    Diogenes with a Camera II, Museum of Modern Art, New York, 1952

  • Literature

    Aperture, Dorothea Lange: Photographs of a Lifetime, p. 129
    Borhan, Dorothea Lange: The Heart and Mind of a Photographer, p. 179
    Davis, The Photographs of Dorothea Lange, p. 87
    San Francisco Museum of Modern Art/Chronicle Books, Dorothea Lange: American Photographs, back cover and pl. 98

  • Catalogue Essay

    Following a successful career as a studio portrait photographer during the 1920s in San Francisco, Dorothea Lange turned her lens to the streets, forsaken towns and dirt roads in America to capture the crippling effects of the Depression. Her images from the 1930s, including those produced for the Farm Securities Administration (FSA), provided Americans with a candid and unabated overview of the Depression’s effects. The works’ powerful impact rippled across America, and in 1941 Lange was awarded the Guggenheim Fellowship for her outstanding contributions to photography.

    During the 1940s Dorothea Lange shifted her focus away from a didactic interpretation of the Depression, by then in its waning stages, to broader social and political nuances. Among her projects was a joint assignment from Fortune magazine, together with Ansel Adams, to document for twenty-four hours the lives of shipyard workers in Richmond, an industrial town near the San Francisco Bay. The project was meant to highlight the swelling population in the region following the increase in demand for freighters during World War II. Homer Page, a friend of Lange’s who had accompanied her on the assignment, recalls the circumstances surrounding Argument In Trailer Court: “They were husband and wife, uprooted from Oklahoma, wandering a thousand miles from home to enter a radically different kind of life, and driven apart by the pressures of long and conflicting hours. Their inner relationship is revealed at once in that single shot. It’s the space between them that counts.” Indeed, while Adams’s interest lay in capturing sweeping panoramas of the town, Lange’s interest lay in the intimate moments shared by its denizens.


Argument in a Trailer Court, Richmond, California

Gelatin silver print, on an exhibition flush-mount, printed no later than 1952.
10 x 12 3/8 in. (25.4 x 31.4 cm)

$25,000 - 35,000 

Sold for $52,500

Contact Specialist
Vanessa Kramer Hallett
Worldwide Head of Photographs
+ 1 212 940 1245


2 October 2012
New York