DOROTHEA LANGE (b. 1895 Hoboken, NJ) first encountered photography while studying with Clarence White at Columbia University. She then worked in Arnold Genthe's New York portrait studio before traveling around the world making her living as a freelance photographer. Stranded in San Francisco, Lange opened a portrait studio before Paul Taylor, her future husband, hired her to document migratory workers in California. 

In 1935 she began to work for the Resettlement Administration (later renamed the Farm Security Administration). During this period she made her most famous image, Human Erosion in California (Migrant Mother), of Native American Florence Owens Thompson and her children in a pea-pickers' camp. Other subjects included Japanese internment camps and factory workers during World War II. Lange was the first woman awarded a Guggenheim fellowship, and spent nearly ten years making photo essays for Life and other magazines. She traveled extensively throughout her life, making photo essays in Vietnam, Ireland, Pakistan, India, and elsewhere.