Dorothea Lange Photographs

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Lange graduated from the Wadleigh High School for Girls and although she had never operated or owned a camera, she was adamant that she would become a photographer upon graduating high school. Lange was educated in photography at Columbia University in New York City, in a class taught by Clarence H. White. She was informally apprenticed to several New York photography studios, including that of the famed Arnold Genthe. In 1918, she left New York with a female friend to travel the world, but was forced to end the trip in San Francisco due to a robbery and settled there, working as a photo finisher at a photographic supply shop. While working at this shop, Lange became acquainted with other photographers and met an investor that aided in the establishment of a successful portrait studio. This business supported Lange and her family for the next 15 years. In 1920, she married the noted western painter Maynard Dixon, with whom she had two sons, Daniel, born in 1925, and John, born in 1930.