No. 429: Dorothea Lange, Soul of a Nation

Episode No. 429 of The Modern Art Notes Podcast features curators Sarah Meister and Lauren Palmor.

On February 9, the Museum of Modern Art, New York opens “Dorothea Lange: Words & Pictures,” the first significant solo presentation of Lange’s work at MoMA since this 1966 survey. The exhibition, which is drawn from MoMA’s collection, was curated by Meister with River Bullock and Madeline Weisburg. It will be on view through May 9. It is accompanied by a book featuring contributions by Julie Ault, Sandy Phillips, Sally Mann, Wendy Red Star, and others. Amazon offers it for $55.

“Lange” specifically examines the way words — including Lange’s own, which Lange often presented in extended captions, and the words in Lange’s photographs — have guided our understanding of Lange’s work.

Host Tyler Green and Meister discuss Lange and Pirkle Jones’s 1956 series “Death of a Valley.” See each picture on SFMOMA’s website.

On the second segment, Fine Arts Museums of San Francisco curator Lauren Palmor discusses additions FAMSF made to “Soul of a Nation: Art in the Age of Black Power 1963-1983.”  The exhibition, which is at the de Young Museum through March 15, examines art made during two decades during which Black political and cultural power ascended in the United States. “Soul of a Nation” originated at the Tate Modern and was curated by Mark Godfrey and Zoé Whitley. Palmor and a team of FAMSF curators added a range of Bay Area-made art to the exhibition.

Learn more about Rainbow Sign, a major Black cultural center in Berkeley, Cleveland Bellow, the Black Panthers at the de Young in 1968-69, and Phillip Lindsay Mason’s The Hero on FAMSF’s website.

Artists featured in “Soul of a Nation” who have been guests on The MAN Podcast include: Melvin Edwards, Barkley L. Hendricks, Senga Nengudi, Howardena Pindell, Betye Saar, Beuford Smith, and Jack Whitten (twice).

Air date: January 23, 2020.

The cover of Aperture No. 1, 1952.

Endpapers from “An American Exodus: A Record of Human Erosion,” by Dorothea Lange and Paul Schuster Taylor (New York: Reynal & Hitchcock, 1939.).

Dorothea Lange, Six Tenant Farmers Without Farms, Hardeman County, Texas, 1937.

Dorothea Lange, Woman of the High Plains, Texas Panhandle, 1938.

Pages 100-01 in “An American Exodus.”

Dorothea Lange, Plantation Overseer and his Field Hands, Mississippi Delta, 1936.

Dorothea Lange, On the Road to Los Angeles, California, 1937.

Dorothea Lange, Kern County, California, 1938.

Dorothea Lange, Richmond, California, ca. 1943.

Dorothea Lange, Tractored Out, Childress County, Texas. 1938.

Dorothea Lange, Migrant Mother, Nipomo, California, 1936.

Marie Johnson Calloway, School Crossing Guard, ca. 1970s.

Philip Lindsay Mason, The Hero, ca. 1979.

Philip Lindsay Mason, Manchild in the Promised Land, 1968.

Ben Hazard, Medal of Honor, ca. 1967.

Pirkle Jones, Kathleen Cleaver, communications secretary of the Black Panther Party and wife of Eldridge Cleaver, De Fremery Park, Oakland California, July 14, 1968, 1968.

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