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A Life Surrounding a Cabin

In a departure from her Depression-era images capturing the plight of migrant farm workers, photographer Dorothea Lange reveals intimate, everyday scenes of her family and the bond they felt with the surrounding natural environment. She described the photographs as documenting the “natural growth of the children” and the pleasure it gave her to see them “so happy and free” acknowledging how the environment at Steep Ravine (Marin) shaped the identity of and relationships within her family. Lange (1895-1965) and her second husband Paul Taylor began leasing a small cabin at Steep Ravine in the late 1950s perched on the rocky coast of Marin County. They traveled to Steep Ravine with their children and grandchildren many times over the years from their home in Berkeley-a short distance, but worlds away. The cabin and its environs so inspired Lange that she often spoke of creating a book of photographs exploring the sense of freedom she discovered there, but was unable to complete the project before her death in 1965. Patrons of the Main Library will have an opportunity to share in Lange’s desire in this rare exhibition of photographs previously exhibited only once before. A Life Surrounding a Cabin: Dorothea Lange at Steep Ravine was organized by the Marin History Museum.

Exhibition: From January 19 through March 16, 2008, Main Library, Sixth Floor, Skylight Gallery, 100 Larkin Street (at Grove)
Related Programs: Opening Event – Slide Lecture by Daniel and Dixie Dixon, Saturday, January 19, 2008, 1:30-3:30 p.m., Main Library, Lower Level, Koret Auditorium
Dorothea Lange: A Visual Life: Screening and Q & A, Tuesday, February 19, 2008, 6-7:30 p.m., Main Library, Lower Level, Koret Auditorium, Photography Workshop with Kira Sugarman, Thursday, March 13, 2008, 10:30 a.m., Main Library, Second Floor, Fisher Children’s Center, 100 Larkin Street (at Grove)

Image credit: Dorothea Lange, Untitled, 1961, Copyright the Dorothea Lange Collection, Oakland Museum of California, The City of Oakland. Gift of Paul S. Taylor. Courtesy of the Marin History Museum.