Join acclaimed American poet Tess Taylor, in conversation with historian Linda Gordon, and MoMA curator Sarah Meister, as they discuss the life and photographs of Dorothea Lange, as well as the new exhibition Dorothea Lange: Words & Pictures—on view from February 9 through May 9, 2020 at The Museum of Modern Art, New York.
In her new collection, Last West: Roadsongs for Dorothea Lange, Tess Taylor follows the winding paths across California that Lange traveled during the Great Depression and in its immediate aftermath. On these journeys, Lange photographed migrant laborers, Dust Bowl refugees, tent cities, and Japanese American internment camps. Taylor's hybrid text collages lyric and oral histories against Lange's own journals and notebook fragments, framing the ways social and ecological injustices of the past rhyme eerily with those of the present. The result is a stunning meditation on movement, landscape, and place.
Last West is published by The Museum of Modern Art, New York, in conjunction with the exhibition Dorothea Lange: Words & Pictures, the first major solo exhibition at the Museum of the photographer's incisive work in over 50 years.
Linda Gordon's biography of Dorothea Lange, Dorothea Lange: A Life Beyond Limits, won the Bancroft Prize for best book in US history, the Los Angeles Times Book Prize for Biography, and the National Arts Club prize for best arts writing. In the process of researching that book, she discovered an important group of Lange photographs long unnoticed and never published: photographs of the internment of Japanese Americans during World War II, commissioned by the US Army but then impounded because they were too critical of the internment policy. Gordon selected 119 of these images and published them, with introductory essays by herself and by historian Gary Okihiro, as Impounded: Dorothea Lange and Japanese Americans in World War II.
Tess Tayloris the author of five collections of poetry. Her chapbook, The Misremembered World, was selected by Eavan Boland for the Poetry Society of America's inaugural chapbook fellowship, and The San Francisco Chronicle called her first book, The Forage House, "stunning." Her second book, Work & Days, was hailed as "our moment's Georgic" by critic Stephanie Burt and named one of the 10 best books of poetry of 2016 by The New York Times. Taylor's work has appeared in The Atlantic,The Kenyon Review, Poetry, Tin House, The Times Literary Supplement, CNN, and The New York Times, and she has received fellowships from MacDowell, Headlands Center for the Arts, and The International Center for Jefferson Studies. She served as Distinguished Fulbright US Scholar at the Seamus Heaney Centre in Queen's University in Belfast, Northern Ireland, and has served as the poetry critic for All for over a decade. In spring 2020 she will publish two books of poems: Last West, part of Dorothea Lange: Words & Pictures, at the Museum of Modern Art, and Rift Zone, from Red Hen Press. She teaches poetry and nonfiction at University of California, Davis.
Linda Gordon is an American historian. She lives in New York City and in Madison, Wisconsin. She is one of only three historians to have won twice the Bancroft prize for best book in US history, for The Great Arizona Orphan Abduction and for Dorothea Lange: A Life Beyond Limits. The University of Wisconsin awarded her the university's most prestigious chair professorship, the Vilas Research Chair, as did NYU where she is University Professor of the Humanities and History. Her most recent books include The Second Coming of the KKK and another biography of a photographer, Inge Morath: Magnum Legacy.
Sarah Meister became a Curator at The Museum of Modern Art in 2009. Her current research examines narratives around twentieth century photography in Latin America. Recent projects include Frances Benjamin Johnston: The Hampton Album (2019), Dorothea Lange: Migrant Mother (2019), Arbus Friedlander Winogrand: New Documents, 1967 (2017), and the exhibition Making Space: Women Artists and Postwar Abstraction (with Starr Figura, 2017). She is a co-editor of and contributing author to the three volume series Photography at MoMA (2015-17), co-director of the August Sander Project (with Noam Elcott, Columbia University), and the lead instructor for the online course Seeing Through Photographs on Coursera.
Please note that this event is at 6:00 PM.