Category Archives: Art

What Made Dorothea Lange an Iconic Photographer and Who was she?

Hi everyone, todays post is about, yes you guessed it Dorothea Lange. This month is photography month and yesterday was her birthday, I thought why not combine the two.

I must admit my favourite photographer is my own daughter, yeah you may say that I am bias being her mum, but whatever she turns her hand to she attacks it with finesse and creativity. Anyway on with my blog!

Biography

Who Was Dorothea Lange?

It was through the Great Depression that Dorothea Lange photographed men, woman and children capturing the very essence of a time when unemployment was at its peak, and where men would wander the streets. This was the time when her most famous photographs of migrant workers had featured the words of the workers themselves, It was not long after that she held her first exhibition which would pave the way and earn her a reputation as a skilled documentary photographer.

Lange was an incredible photographer, who had an unbelievable amount of talent, she could capture the raw and unfiltered emotions of any subject she captured. The photographs would steal your breath away, and just simply draw you in to every situation.

The Early Years

Born Dorothea Nutzhorn on 26 May 1895, in Hoboken, New Jersey, U.S. to second-generation German Immigrants Johanna Lange a homemaker, and Heinrich Nutzhorn a lawyer. Dorothea was an accomplished American documentary photographer and photojournalist that included portraits, and those of displaced farmers during the great depression. She is one of the preeminent and pioneering documentary photographers to come out of the twentieth century.

By the time she reached 7, Lange contracted polio, which impacted her life dramatically, it left her right leg and foot noticeably weaker than her left one, which resulted in a limp. Later in life she would learn to appreciate what happened to her in that period of her life and look upon it as the most important thing that had happened to her, she once said that it “formed me, guided me, helped me, instructed me, and humiliated me.”

By the time she had reached her teens her parents divorced, it was her second severe trauma to hit her through her childhood. Her father’s abandonment affected Dorothea that much, she dropped his last name and assumed her mother’s maiden name Lange and made it her own.

Throughout her life, art and literature were a big part of her upbringing. Her parents were not only advocating for her education, but it meant that she was more in tuned to her creative side, bringing out her creativity through her works that would fill up her childhood.

After high school, she went on to attend the New York Training School for Teachers. Lange who had never showed any interests on the academic side, went on to pursue photography as a profession after working in a New York City photo studio, a decision that would change her life in every way. Lange went on to study the arts form at Columbia University, and over the next several years she would gain a wealth of knowledge and learn everything she could from several different photographers, such as Arnold Genthe a portrait photographer.

By the time 1918 came around, Lange was running a phenomenally successful portrait studio in San Francisco, with her husband muralist Maynard Dixon and had two sons, her life now had returned to her middle-class roots she had known has a child.

Interesting Facts

  • Dorothea Lange was born on 26 May 1895 in Hoboken, New Jersey,
  • Her father, Heinrich Nutzhorn, was a lawyer, and her mother, Johanna, stayed at home to raise Dorothea and her brother, Martin.
  • At the age of seven, she contracted polio, which left her with a permanently disfigured right leg and foot, which left her partially paralyzed, and led her to walk with a limp for the rest of her life.
  • Lange was an American documentary photographer, whose work shed a light on the plight of American citizens during some of the darkest eras of U.S. history.
  • In 1918 she decided to travel around the world, earning money as she went, selling her photographs. Lange money ran out by the time she got to San Francisco, so she settled there and obtained a job in a photography studio.
  • Lange’s work White Angel Breadline, San Francisco 1933 was the first in a series that focused on the effects of economic decline on working-class individuals and families.
  • First husband Maynard Dixon was an American artist (whose body of work, focused on the American West). they married in 1920, and went on to had two sons Daniel and John.
  • The Migrant Mother, Lange’s single most iconic photograph, caused a falling out between Dorothea and the chief of Farm Security Administration’s photographic project Roy Stryker when she retouched the negative sometime around 1939.
  • She co-founded Aperture, a small publishing house that produces a periodical and high-end photography books.
  • Lange studied photography at Columbia University in New York City under Clarence H. White, a member of the Photo-Secession group.
  • She was instrumental in organizing Museum of Modern Art (MoMA) famous “Family of Man” exhibition in 1955.
  • Lange sent a letter to her fellow photographers all around the world, to show “Man to Man” across the world, to the show dreams, aspirations, strength, and despair that is going on around the world.
  • Lange married second husband Paul Schuster Taylor in 1935, they were together until her death
  • Until 1935, Lange ran her own successful portrait studio in downtown San Francisco, a hugely successful business where she photographed the bourgeois and bohemian elite of the Bay Area.
  • Lange started her career as a documentary photographer at the age of 40.
  • In 1944, Ansel Adams and Lange worked together on a photo series in the wartime shipyards of Richmond, California, on assignment from Fortune magazine, and in 1953 they produced a photo-essay on three Mormon towns in Utah together for LIFE Magazine.
  • She was the first woman to be hired as a photographer by the Resettlement Administration (later Farm Security Administration) in 1935.
  • Lange was hired by the Office of War Information (OWI) to photograph the internment of Japanese Americans.
  • Her photographs influenced John Steinbeck, he was deeply affected by Lange’s photographs of the migrants of the Great Depression when completing his seminal novel, The Grapes of Wrath.
  • Dorothea Lange and fellow photographer Ansel Adams had a lifelong friendship that started when the two first met in San Francisco in the 1920s, collaborating on photographic projects on several occasions,
  • She closely worked with Edward Steichen on the preparation of the exhibition and publication on The Family of Man exhibition at the Museum of Modern Art in New York,
  • In 1939 she published a collection of her photographs in the book An American Exodus: A Record of Human Erosion. Her second husband, economist Paul Taylor, provided the text.
  • Lange battled increasing health problems over the last two decades of her life, but still managed to stay active.
  • She was the first woman to be awarded a Guggenheim Fellowship for Photography in 1941, and to be offered a one-person retrospective at the Museum of Modern Art in New York, following in the footsteps of Walker Evans, Paul Strand, Edward Weston and Henri Cartier-Bresson.
  • Dorothea Lange was an environmentalist campaigner.
  • Inspired by a book titled The Irish Countryman, by Conrad M Arensberg Lange made a photo series in Ireland, she persuaded the editors of LIFE to commission her and her son Daniel Dixon, a writer, to create an in-depth study of rural life in Ireland in 1954.
  • Dorothea Lange passed away from oesophageal cancer on October 11, 1965, San Francisco, California.
  • Lange was admitted into the National Women’s Hall of Fame in 2003 and the California Hall of Fame 2008 after her death.

Thank you for taking the time to read my blog. Enjoy the rest of your week and I will see you next week

8 Futuristic Museums

Hi everyone, I hope you are all keeping okay. This Sunday is Mother’s Day, so happy Mother’s Day to all the Mothers out there, but I would like to especially welcome my own daughter to her very first Mother’s Day, as she became a mother herself this year to a beautiful baby boy, but my heart does break that I have not been able to see him or my daughter in person, I didn’t even get to see her through her pregnancy, but I am looking forward to the day that I can get to hug them without this pandemic hanging over our heads.

Anyways on with this week post. Today I am doing about futuristic museums that consists of contemporary art from around the world, this post involves everything that I love all wrapped nicely together, such as museums, art, all tied together by the beautiful and unusual architecture. I love going to museums, art galleries and have become such a fanatic where beautiful and extremely different architecture is concerned, it could be, where the artist in me comes out

8 Futuristic Museums of Contemporary Art around the World

Each museum is special in their own way, whether it’s through their architectural exterior or their unique Interior to even what they house, but whatever it is they are admired by many experts, and people alike, from all around the world. These stunning museums offer you both cultural and architectural experience. Gone are the everyday buildings and now you have the more up to date museums that are more advanced than the run of the mill ones. I am not knocking the older ones as if it were not for them I would not of got my thirst for art and its history..

Famous architects of our generation come out to compete, so they can get to design futuristic architects and standout one of a kind architecture museum, from the likes of Oscar Niemeyer, Jean Nouvel, MVRDV, Santiago Calatrava, these are just a few of the names that had contributed to bringing you out of this world architecture.

Niterói Contemporary Art Museum, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil

The Niterói Contemporary Museum is in the city of Niterói and has stunning views that look across Guanabara Bay and Sugarloaf Mountain. There is a wide access area that takes you up into the lobby of the museum and into the Hall of Expositions and has a capacity for sixty people to be in there at one time, whilst in there why not explore the works of art by Jorge Duarte, Lygia Clark, and so many more. There are two doors that lead to the viewing gallery, where you can see the Guanabara Bay. The design of this structure has a futuristic feat which was designed by none other than their very own Brazilian Architect Oscar Niemeyer. This building was designed in the shape of a saucer that is likened to a UFO and is set on the cliffside overlooking the Guanabara Bay and Sugarloaf Mountain. that gives it a more stunning look.

Louvre, Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates

The Louvre Museum is designed by Jean Nouvel, features a stainless-steel aluminium dome that is surrounded by water. giving it an idyllic setting on the island of Saadivat and is inspired by the Arab architectural culture designed as “a city museum on the sea” that includes 50 buildings. When the sun beams down onto the dome, light beams through the dome in the form of a star shaped pattern. This took eight years to construct and is the largest art museum in the Arabian Peninsula. The Louvre Abu Dhabi promotes the Western art spread throughout 23 galleries that are either owned by or on loan to the UAE that includes an 1877 self-portrait of Van Gogh, Jacques-Louis David’s famous portrait of Napoleon crossing the Alps on a white horse, 1877 Monet’s painting of the Saint-Lazare railroad station, and 1922 Mondrian’s Composition with Blue, Red, Yellow and Black.

Comic and Animation Museum, Hangzhou, China

When you first look at the museum it looks like a cluster of oversized eggs that is speckled in red, but it is so much more to what it appears to be, it is a fitting masterpiece, for housing the Comic and Animation Museum. This was designed to represent speech bubbles for its eight interconnected parts which fulfils every comic book lovers’ fantasy. Children’s comics have grown to be a more sophisticated art form, and this is every artist dream as everyone tries to compete to be the best and more artistic, in bringing their work to life. Each speech bubble has a specific entrance; education, cinemas/theatre, a massive comic book library, and an interactive exhibition area. This museum was created by MVRDV.

Museum of the Future, Dubai, UAE

This museum is adding a unique architectural structure to the Dubai skyline that was designed by architect Shaun Killa as it has now joined the ranks of the likes of Burj Khalifa and Dubai Frame with its seven floors of exhibitions, that as a calligraphy style steel frame. This museum takes it to a whole other level as parts of this building was created by robots, which gives you an insight into what the future will look like. Visitors will get to experience the technologies from the future and get a glance at what will be the next big technology of the 21st century. This museum explores the future of science and technology.

Museu do Amanha, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil

Museu do Amanha or the “Museum of Tomorrow” is a magnificent and captivating architecture and is one that entices you to come and have a look around its beautiful structure was created by Spanish architect Santiago Calatrava and is situated at the far side of the Praça Maua’ near the harbour. This museum is a cultural place housing exhibition that addresses the future of the planet. Its unusual architectural design with a cantilevering roof gives you the impression of wings on either end, but it is influenced by the local Brazilian culture along with Calatrava’s reference point, which is the biology of birds. The museum gives you panoramic views of Guanabara Bay and Sao Bento Monastery. This museum is over two levels while retaining as much space as possible and houses’ both short-term and long-term exhibits, with the permanent being on the upper floor.

National Museum of Qatar, Doha, Qatar

The National Museum was designed by Jean Nouvel resembles a bunch of flying saucers that as crashed to the ground all in the same spot, they are made up of interlocking discs, that offers its international visitors a look into its dialogue of rapid change and modernization. Its visitors have been at the heart and centre of this museums’ vision and its development. Everyone who visits the National Museum of Qatar are given an all-round and captivating experience, it doesn’t matter what age you are, the experience is still the same, delving into knowledge of their nation’s history and its people. The story will unfold across eleven compelling galleries as it tells their stories.

Soumaya Museum, Mexico City, Mexico

The Soumaya Museum was created by architectural firm FR-EE (Fernando Romero Enterprise) which is now one of Mexico City’s most striking landmark, with a magnificent eclectic collection of nearly 70,000 objects ranging from the 15th to the mid-20th century that is housed over its nine floors. A skin of 16,000 hexagonal tiles of mirrored steel, that reference the colonial ceramic tiled structure, which gives the museum its diverse appearance. Soumaya was designed by Fernando Romero an architect that is renowned for his stunning designs. This museum contains exhibition spaces, a library, a bookshop, storage areas, offices, a café/restaurant, and a 320-seat auditorium. All spaces that are dedicated to the public will be connected by a spiral ramp which begins as soon as you enter the lobby that goes all the way up to the open floor gallery which sees daylight coming through. The collection consists of European old masters, Auguste Rodin and European sculpture of the 19th and 20th centuries, Mesoamerican art, 19th century Mexican portrait painting, Mexican art of the 20th century, and Impressionism and avant-garde art, there is also, miniature jewellery, coins. Including notable works from the likes of Edgar Degas, Auguste Rodin, Pablo Picasso, Vincent van Gogh, Salvador Dalí, Pierre-Auguste Renoir, the list is endless

Coming Soon…

Lucas Museum of Narrative Art, Los Angeles, US

Lucas Museum of Narrative Art was founded by Philanthropist and filmmaker George Lucas and his wife Mellody Hobson.  The Lucas museum will inspire all generation through its Universal Visual storytelling. This museum when completed is scheduled to open in 2023 which will present itself in exhibitions that will bring visual storytelling to its fullest richness and complexity. It will give you learning opportunities and will enable all ages to explore diverse forms of narrative art. This is designed by renowned architect Ma Yansong and is under construction in Los Angeles’ Exposition Park. This museum will feature galleries that will showcase the 10,000-piece collection of George Lucas’ memorabilia, which will include The Star Wars Franchise and it will also have state of the art cinematic theatre’s,

Thank you for taking the time to read my post, and enjoy the rest of your day and have a good weekend. See you next week.