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© Oakland Museum of California, the City of Oakland

Dorothea Lange
American, Egypt, 1962 - 1963
Gelatin silver print
10 1/2 x 13 5/16 in.

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The piercing gazes of two Middle Eastern women must surely have struck Dorothea Lange when she made this photograph, just as they strike the viewer now. The powerful expressions of both women are evident, though one covers her face with a veil. Lange understood that blankets, veils, and scarves could modify one's appearance, punctuate one's actions, and emphasize emotional moments. She exploited this device throughout her career, particularly in her photographs of women. She photographed Native American women wrapped in blankets, elderly Irish women wearing black shawls, and veiled Middle Eastern women like those seen here.