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The Matriarch: 1937

The Matriarch: 1937

July 1937. "Old Negress of Greene County, Georgia." Medium format nitrate negative by Dorothea Lange for the Resettlement Administration. View full size.


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The house is unusual.

The house is definitely not a typical tenant farmer affair. The elaborate front door treatment and staircase say that this once once quite a house. The typical tenant farmers house would have been one story and 3 to 4 rooms. There would have been no ornamentation. Such a house might be recognizable to someone from that area. I hope we will learn more.

A Person of Substance

Not only is this a lady considerable dignity but, judging from the few architectural details visible, her home is far superior to the shacks and shanties that so predominate Lange's work during this period.

I suspect that, within the confines of the Jim Crow laws and practices prevalent at the time, she was a person of some standing in her community.

Yes pdstark. . .

My exact thoughts! Wonder what IS in those pockets? And I'll be she's planning to save the grain bag on the floor behind her to make another wonderful, sturdy apron with zigzag stitching on the pockets!

Typically Lange

Prime example of Lange's work. Quietly evocative of this lady's strength and beauty.


A striking woman with clearly defined strength and beauty. I'd love to listen to her story. And see what she has in her pockets.

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