MIGRATORY CHILD AT END OF DAY IN BEAN PICKERS' CAMP NEAR WEST STAYTON, OREGON
with ‘20583-C’ in pencil on the reverse, 1939
9½ by 7¼ in. (24.1 by 18.4 cm.)
This early print, on single-weight paper with a glossy surface, is in generally excellent condition. The RA number in pencil on the reverse is faint but remains legible.
The lot is sold in the condition it is in at the time of sale. The condition report is provided to assist you with assessing the condition of the lot and is for guidance only. Any reference to condition in the condition report for the lot does not amount to a full description of condition. The images of the lot form part of the condition report for the lot provided by Sotheby's. Certain images of the lot provided online may not accurately reflect the actual condition of the lot. In particular, the online images may represent colours and shades which are different to the lot's actual colour and shades. The condition report for the lot may make reference to particular imperfections of the lot but you should note that the lot may have other faults not expressly referred to in the condition report for the lot or shown in the online images of the lot. The condition report may not refer to all faults, restoration, alteration or adaptation because Sotheby's is not a professional conservator or restorer but rather the condition report is a statement of opinion genuinely held by Sotheby's. For that reason, Sotheby's condition report is not an alternative to taking your own professional advice regarding the condition of the lot.
NOTWITHSTANDING THIS REPORT OR ANY DISCUSSIONS CONCERNING CONDITION OF A LOT, ALL LOTS ARE OFFERED AND SOLD "AS IS" IN ACCORDANCE WITH THE CONDITIONS OF SALE INCLUDED IN THE CATALOGUE.
PhotoWest Gallery, San Diego, 1990
Linda Gordon, ‘Dorothea Lange’s Oregon Photography: Assumptions Challenged,’ Oregon Historical Quarterly, vol. 110, no. 4, 2009, p. 594
Although best-known for her Depression-era work in California and the deep South, Lange made over 550 photographs in Oregon, the result of two trips to the Northwest in the summer and fall of 1939. Oregon’s economy was primarily agricultural and during the Depression an estimated 200,000 migrants poured into the state seeking a better life. The photograph offered here is from a series documenting the summer string bean harvest in Marion County, areas of which remain agricultural centers to this day. Lange’s caption reads in part, ‘The bean crop requires a large number of harvesters for a few weeks in August each year…Pickers are partly local people, partly from nearby portions of Oregon, who work seasonally only in the bean crop, and partly migrants who follow the crops from harvest to harvest…Most of the pickers camp on the land of the growers…There is less formality and freer more intimate relationship between small farmers and pickers than between the large growers and workers in California…1939 pickers’ wages are $1 per 100 lbs.’ (General Caption No. 46, filed 13 November 1939)
At the time of this writing, no other early print of this image has been located nor is believed to have been offered at auction. The title and date for this image come from the caption card for nitrate negative 20583-C held by the Library of Congress.