The Life of a Photograph

Like many of the images taken by government photographers, this photograph was sent to the media, in this case the New York Times, for publication. The cropping marks directed the Times layout and printing staff.

A July 5, 1936, New York Times article reproduced this print with the following title and caption: "A Family Unit in Flight from Drought. Parched, wind carried dust has been borne more than 2,000 miles in some of the dust storms which have followed upon the droughts. Uprooted families have wandered even greater distances in search of a new livelihood."

Trace the history of this photograph in the hand-written, stamped, and pasted notes recorded by various government administrators and editors on the back of the image.

Refugees Arrive in California / Lange
Refugees Arrive in California (reverse) / Lange