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Plantation Overseer and his Field Hands, Mississippi Delta

A work made of gelatin silver print.

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  • A work made of gelatin silver print.


1936, printed 1936-37


Dorothea Lange
American, 1895–1965

About this artwork

Dorothea Lange produced indelible images of the Great Depression while working for US government agencies in the 1930s. In 1936 she made her first trip to the American South with her husband, economics professor Paul Taylor (seen at the very left side of the photograph), who interviewed locals and took notes while she photographed. Lange found the often-racist social order of the South intact despite the upheavals of the Depression. She made that power structure clear in this frequently reproduced image, in which a heavyset plantation owner stakes claim to his car and his employees at once, straddling the bumper as he looms before people who he seems to regard as his possessions.


Currently Off View


Photography and Media


Dorothea Lange


Plantation Overseer and his Field Hands, Mississippi Delta


United States (Artist's nationality:)

Date  Dates are not always precisely known, but the Art Institute strives to present this information as consistently and legibly as possible. Dates may be represented as a range that spans decades, centuries, dynasties, or periods and may include qualifiers such as c. (circa) or BCE.

Made 1936


Gelatin silver print


Image: 18.7 × 24.1 cm (7 3/8 × 9 1/2 in.)

Credit Line

Purchased with funds provided by Vicki and Thomas Horwich

Reference Number


Extended information about this artwork

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