Not currently on view
Lovers, Richmond, California
Dorothea Lange (American, 1895 - 1965)
Richmond, California, United States (Place created)
Gelatin silver print
25.1 x 25.6 cm (9 7/8 x 10 1/16 in.)
© Oakland Museum of California, the City of Oakland
A quality that the artist responds to is the only way to make a documentary photograph. A documentary photograph is not factual, per se. It carries the full meaning and significance of the episode or the circumstance or the situation that can only be revealed--because you can't really capture it--by this other quality.
Dorothea Lange often sought out subjects whose lives were affected by government policies--including those whose occupations depended on America's efforts during World War II. She documented factory workers in Richmond, California, a booming harbor town near her home, where ships were being built twenty-four hours a day, seven days a week.
These two factory workers appear to be taking a break between shifts. The scarcity of their personal time is suggested by a parking meter, which reads "violation" and dominates the picture's
Keller, Judith. In Focus: Dorothea Lange. Photographs from the J. Paul Getty Museum. (Los Angeles: J. Paul Getty Museum, 2002), p.57.