Dorothea Lange

Migrant Mother, 1936

This iconic photograph of a 32-year-old impoverished mother and her three children does not show a single detail of the destitute pea pickers’ camp where they lived. Still, it evokes the uncertainty and despair resulting from continual poverty. Featured in newspapers nationwide, this photo and others from the camp shocked America’s conscience and spurred the federal government to ship 20,000 pounds of food to California migrant workers.