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Picnic in the Park: 1939

Picnic in the Park: 1939

August 1939. "Grants Pass, Oregon. 'California Day.' A picnic in town park on the Rogue River. Hot summer afternoon." Photo by Dorothea Lange. View full size.


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Times have certainly changed.

Back in the day, even for a picnic you were dressed good enough to attend church. My great grandmother would have been aghast if you were seen outside without a hat. "You'd fry your brain!". I've had friends ask me about seeing women dressed in evening gowns and such on the streets of New Orleans, and I have to gently suggest to them that those probably weren't women. Women just haven't dressed like that in over 50 years. We've gotten far less formal than a family picnic like this would have been. Having said that, the woman on the far right looks like "a rebellious youth" must have been like back then. She's not particularly young though.

Outdoor elegance

I love the fresh flowers for the picnic table. Such a nice touch, should be a good day for everyone.

Pastorale in Four Flats

Ignoring the adults obviously made dour from the oppressive heat, the little girl and baby present a captivating image. Charity requires that we assume that a splendid lunch reposes beneath that sheet, and not a corpse with legs drawn up from rigor.

Is it just me, or...

Am I the only one who has never, until this photo, seen the kind of happiness like on that little girl's face in a Lange photo?

Pendleton blanket

That looks like a Pendleton Indian trade blanket those kids are sitting on. And don't you wonder what's under that cloth on the table?

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