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Oakland Museum of California Announces Extension of Popular Exhibition Dorothea Lange: Politics of Seeing

(OAKLAND, CA) July 12, 2017—The Oakland Museum of California (OMCA) announces the extension of major exhibition Dorothea Lange: Politics of Seeing, now on view through August 27, 2017. The popular exhibition—which opened to the public on May 13, 2017—examines world-renowned documentary photographer Dorothea Lange’s works through a political lens, illuminating the major social issues of the 20th century.

As the owner of Lange’s personal archive, which was gifted to the Museum 50 years ago, OMCA has the unique opportunity to illustrate the power of her photography as a form of social activism through approximately 130 photographs—including both well recognized and rarely seen vintage prints and unedited proof sheets—as well as personal memorabilia and historic objects.

The exhibition, now extended by popular demand, examines the emotional power of photography to sway minds and prompt political change. Organized into three main sections, Politics of Seeing highlights Lange’s works focused on the Great Depression, World War II, and Postwar California, as well as a focus on her early life, an interactive space, and excerpts from the film Dorothea Lange: Grab a Hunk of Lightening, directed by Lange’s granddaughter, Dyanna Taylor.

In addition, contemporary works by photographers Ken Light, Jason Jaacks, and Janet Delaney demonstrate the continuing inspiration of Lange’s vision, directly connecting her legacy to current social and political issues such as homelessness, income inequality, racism, xenophobia, and immigration

“We at the Oakland Museum of California are committed to presenting topics and themes that are both socially relevant and meaningful to the community,” says OMCA Director and CEO Lori Fogarty. “There is no artist who better demonstrates the power of storytelling through art—or who has had a more profound impact through visual storytelling on our history and culture—than Dorothea Lange.”

The exhibition is now on view in the Oakland Museum of California’s Great Hall through August 27, 2017. Dorothea Lange: Politics of Seeing is supported in part by the Oakland Museum Women’s Board and the Robert Mapplethorpe Foundation.


Dorothea Lange: Politics of Seeing
*Now Extended through August 27, 2017
Through the lens of her camera, Dorothea Lange documented American life with riveting, intimate photographs that portrayed some of the most powerful moments of the 20th century. Lange was driven by the belief that seeing the effects of injustice could provoke reform and, just perhaps, change the world. From documenting the plight of Dust Bowl migrants during the Great Depression to illuminating the grim conditions of incarcerated Japanese Americans during World War II, Lange’s photographs demonstrate how empathy and compassion—focused through art—can sway minds and prompt change throughout this nation’s history. See how Lange’s work continues to resonate with millions and inspire new generations of artist-activists, illustrating the power of photography as a form of social activism.

Dorothea Lange: Politics of Seeing presents 130 photographs to celebrate the 50th anniversary of the artist’s gift of her personal archive to the Oakland Museum of California. Drawing upon vintage prints, unedited proof sheets, personal memorabilia, and historic objects, this exhibition takes a unique approach to a beloved American photographer by reuniting photographs with comments and quotes by the people she photographed. Don’t miss a selection of photographs on view by contemporary photographers Janet Delaney, Jason Jaacks, and Ken Light, whose works demonstrate how the issues tackled in Lange’s subject matter are relevant to many of the issues we face today—nationally and globally.

The Oakland Museum of California (OMCA) brings together collections of art, history, and natural science under one roof to tell the extraordinary stories of California and its people. OMCA’s groundbreaking exhibits tell the many stories that comprise California with many voices, often drawing on first-person accounts by people who have shaped California’s cultural heritage. Visitors are invited to actively participate in the Museum as they learn about the natural, artistic, and social forces that affect the state and investigate their own role in both its history and its future. With more than 1.9 million objects, OMCA is a leading cultural institution of the Bay Area and a resource for the research and understanding of California’s dynamic cultural and environmental heritage.

The Oakland Museum of California (OMCA) is at 1000 Oak Street, at 10th Street, in Oakland. Museum admission is $15.95 general; $10.95 seniors and students with valid ID, $6.95 youth ages 9 to 17, and free for Members and children 8 and under. There is a $4 charge in addition to general admission pricing for special exhibitions. OMCA offers onsite underground parking and is conveniently located one block from the Lake Merritt BART station, on the corner of 10th Street and Oak Street. The accessibility ramp is located at the 1000 Oak Street main entrance to the Museum.