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Cantaloupe Pickers, Mexicans, at End of Day in California Melon Fields / Mexican Labor Off for the Melon Fields in the Imperial Valley, California
Dorothea Lange (American, 1895 - 1965)
California, Imperial Valley, United States (Place depicted)
Gelatin silver print
18.9 x 23.7 cm (7 7/16 x 9 5/16 in.)
Though farm work is strenuous and exhausting, this photograph suggests that jovial camaraderie could sometimes relieve the strain of being in the fields. Work was hard to come by in the 1930s, and these laborers probably counted themselves lucky to have found a paying job picking cantaloupes in the Imperial Valley's hot, dusty melon fields. Strong shadows and dirt caked onto the flatbed truck's tires makes clear that it was both hot and dry the day Dorothea Lange made this photograph.
Keller, Judith. In Focus: Dorothea Lange. Photographs from the J. Paul Getty Museum. (Los Angeles: J. Paul Getty Museum, 2002), p.25.