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Seven Loaves: 1939

Seven Loaves: 1939

August 1939. "A corner of the T.P. Schrock kitchen in their new home. Yakima Valley, Wash." Putting the yeast in yesterday, which would be only "erdy" without it. Photo by Dorothea Lange, Resettlement Administration. View full size.


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This is a picture of my grandmother's kitchen in Wapato, Washington, near Yakima. I have other photos that Dorothea took of my family. My grandmother always had homemade bread and I loved to play and visit their farm.

Cracked Window

I don't see a cracked window. I see an open window with a screen in the bottom.


this kitchen is referred to as shabby chic and people spend thousands to get this look. They made this house a home.

But still...

The picture is beautifully composed, but if you look closely it is still in Dorothea's bailiwick.

The window appears to be cracked and repaired with some sort of putty or tape; the counter edge molding is broken and partially missing; the greenery is in an old tin can and not a planter or even clay pot. And the jar which seems to contain either coffee or brown sugar is without a lid. It's beauty amidst the squalor.

Swivel Catch

The swivel catch above the cabinet door is typical of the era.

Doors don't quite stay closed until you screw one in to fix it.


This photo is an absolute symphony of detail. The bread, the dappled sunlight on the counter, the bead board, the cabinetry and hardware, and so many other small details all contribute beautifully to the visual score. Dorothea certainly knew what she was doing.

A pleasant scene for a change

I do not usually associate this type of image with Dorothea Lange. Although the kitchen is old and in need of remodeling, it is clean and there is fair amount of food in it, which is not someone one could take for granted during the Depression. It certainly beats living in broken-down shack, a tent, or a car as many of Lange's subjects did. The plant in the window is a nice touch. This place feels like home.

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