We’ve all seen many images of the Great Depression, but perhaps not so many in one place.
The Gilcrease Museum in Tulsa has an exhibit now titled "Dorothea Lange’s America." It features dozens of photographs from an handful of photographers hired by the government’s Farm Security Administration to document the Depression and its people.
Mark Dolph is the curator of history at the Gilcrease.
“In my opinion, the Migrant Mother [by Dorothea Lange] is the defining image of the Great Depression,” Dolph said. “Here is a woman dealing with hard times, but also you see her resolute strength and dignity in the face of all these hardships.”
The Migrant Mother is an Oklahoman named Florence Owen Thompson who like so many left Oklahoma to head to California looking for work.
Lange took her photo in a pea picker camp in California In 1936. Dolph said the reaction from visitors to the exhibit is universal.
“That could have been my Mother or that could have been my grandfather,” Dolph said.
There are many photographs of Oklahomans both in California and in Oklahoma.
The exhibit is open now and runs through January 5.