Dorothea Lange - Photographs New York Wednesday, October 11, 2023 | Phillips

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  • In October and November of 1939, Dorothea Lange traveled to Gem County, Idaho, to photograph a community that had benefited directly from support provided by the Farm Security Administration. The Depression had hit Idaho farmers hard, and their plight was worsened by a lengthy drought. A group of 36 farmers from Gem County formed a cooperative to submit an application to the FSA for a $1,500 loan to build a saw mill. Once completed, the mill allowed the farmers to take advantage of the vast stands of yellow pine and Douglas fir trees of the region, and brought financial stability to a community that had previously been on the brink of poverty. As such, Ola Self-Help Saw Mill Cooperative was exactly the sort of success story the FSA wanted to document, and Lange’s photographs provide an eloquent account of its impact upon the community.      

    • Provenance

      Photo West Gallery, San Diego

    • Literature

      Rochkind, ed., Dorothea Lange: 500 FSA Photographs, p. 235
      Library of Congress, Farm Security Administration/Office of War Information Black-and-White Negatives,


Wife and Baby of President of Ola Self-Help Sawmill Co-op in Doorway of their Home, Gem County, Idaho

Gelatin silver print.
7 x 9 1/2 in. (17.8 x 24.1 cm)
Annotated with Resettlement Administration number '21657-C' in pencil on the verso.

Full Cataloguing

$10,000 - 15,000 

Contact Specialist

Sarah Krueger
Head of Department, Photographs


Vanessa Hallett
Worldwide Head of Photographs and Chairwoman, Americas


New York Auction 11 October 2023