March 14, 2019 – 6:30 pm

Curator’s Perspective: Lange: Artist or Activist?

presented by Drew Heath Johnson, curator of photography and visual culture, Oakland Museum of California

Frist Art Museum Auditorium
Free; first come, first seated

With hardship and suffering as consistent areas of focus throughout her career, Dorothea Lange created arresting portraits with the aim of sparking reform. Join Drew Heath Johnson as he examines the central theme of Dorothea Lange: Politics of Seeing: the power of Lange’s photography to sway people’s minds and spur them to action. Johnson will look at both the effects of her imagery and her intentions, which could be quite contradictory.

Drew Heath Johnson has worked at the Oakland Museum since 1989. His many exhibitions at the museum include Silver & Gold: Cased Images of the California Gold Rush; Fertile Ground: Art and Community in California; and Capturing Light: Masterpieces of California Photography, 1850–2000, and Dorothea Lange: Politics of Seeing. His many duties include the guardianship and sharing of Dorothea Lange’s entire personal archive, a collection with more than six thousand vintage prints and forty thousand negatives, along with the artist’s personal correspondence, field notes, proof sheets, and working documents. He is the recipient of a California Book Award for the catalogue of Capturing Light. A native Californian, he has been a student of photography since purchasing his first daguerreotype at the age of fourteen.

Dorothea Lange. One Nation Indivisible, San Francisco, 1942. Gelatin silver print. © The Dorothea Lange Collection, the Oakland Museum of California, gift of Paul S. Taylor


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