SHORPY Historic Photo Archive & Fine-Art Prints
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About the Photos

Our holdings include hundreds of glass and film negatives/transparencies that we've scanned ourselves; in addition, many other photos on this site were extracted from reference images (high-resolution tiffs) in the Library of Congress research archive. (To query the database click here.) They are adjusted, restored and reworked by your webmaster in accordance with his aesthetic sensibilities before being downsized and turned into the jpegs you see here. All of these images (including "derivative works") are protected by copyright laws of the United States and other jurisdictions and may not be sold, reproduced or otherwise used for commercial purposes without permission.

© 2019 SHORPY INC.

[REV 25-NOV-2014]

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Migrant Madonna: 1939

Migrant Madonna: 1939

June 1939. "Wife and baby of itinerant cane furniture maker and agricultural day laborer camped in Wagoner County, Oklahoma." 35mm nitrate negative by Russell Lee for the Farm Security Administration. View full size.

On Shorpy:
Today's Top 5
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The Chair

Someone had some impressive chair-making skills.

Shorpy's Migrant Mothers

Shorpy showed us many "Migrant Mothers" in the past, an overview:

The famous 1936 Migrant Mother, root of all migrant mothers it seems, if you prefer colorized, or more enhanced (which made her a year older?), or with children, and a 1936 Migrant Mother II (hope that Dororthea asked her permission for the indecency).
We also have a 1936 Migrant Daughter, who becomes a mother when colorized.
In 1939 there are several: alone, just finished washing, with a sick baby, or with a healthy one, or with a triplet of children.
In 1940 our series ends, for the moment, with a Migrant Mother, in the family car or behind it.

My favorite is today's Madonna.
Thanks Shorpy for the series!

That child

Now is about 73, 74. How marvelous if she (or he) discovers this photo on Shorpy. What stories we could hear.

Lee - One of the Masters of Photography

Images like this separate the truly great photographers from everyone else. Lee and Delano and Evans did this peerlessly.

Compare to "Migrant Mother"

Certainly on a par with "Migrant Mother" by Dorothea Lange. Thanks for doing digital justice with this fine image - as usual. Was struck by the baby's shoes; they seem expensively out of place, yet it's easy to imagine parents with almost nothing still finding the ability to give their child the best they could.

Such a beautiful picture!

She is very much in love with her baby. The hardships they're enduring are forgotten in this one moment together.

SHORPY OLD PHOTO ARCHIVE | History in HD is a vintage photo archive featuring thousands of high-definition images from the 1850s to 1960s. (Available as fine-art prints from the Shorpy Archive.) The site is named after Shorpy Higginbotham, a teenage coal miner who lived 100 years ago.

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