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Learning From "Migrant Mother:" What Can Old Photos Tell Us? -- Dick Miller

Thursdays, April 20 and April 27, 2023 1pm - 3pm

This is a two session course.

Odd Fellows Hall, SLO

$10 for LLCC members, $20 for non-members

Register Now for "Learning From Migrant Mother" on Brown Paper Tickets

We often say that a picture is worth a thousand words. But which thousand words? This course is a two-session eyes-on workshop on how to read historical photographs. “Read” is not quite the right word. We’ll actually be “photosleuthing” Sherlock Holmes-style, looking for visual clues in old photos. We’ll sleuth one of the most recognized photos of all time, Dorothea Lange’s iconic symbol of the Great Depression, Migrant Mother. The image happens to document a local scene, shot in 1936 at a migrant workers’ camp in Nipomo. Lange actually took several pictures of the woman that day, but only one endures as Migrant Mother. The first session will set Migrant Mother in its various contexts, and provide participants with study prints of all of Lange’s known images of the woman. During the second session we’ll photosleuth the question, how and why did a particular photo of a particular migrant mother in a particular setting become the timeless, iconic Migrant Mother?

Dick Miller is a frequent taker and giver of LLCC courses. He is a retired historian still trying to figure out which thousand words an old picture is worth.

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