Dorothea Lange

Irish Country People, 1954. Vintage prints.


Inspired by an anthropologist’s book, titled The Irish Countryman, Dorothea Lange persuaded the editors of Life magazine to hire her and her son Daniel Dixon to create a photo-essay about Ireland for their magazine. During fall of 1954, Dorothea Lange photographed for a month in Ireland, mainly in the western county of Clare. Here she met and befriended hard-working people of modest means who, unlike the tenant farmers and displaced migrants of the Great Depression, farmed and worked their family-owned land. With her son Daniel Dixon providing text, Lange submitted a story based on her photographs to Life magazine which was published (in a heavily edited form) in the March 21, 1955 issue.

The images shown here were all included in Lange’s photo-essay in Life Magazine, “Irish Country People.”

Michael Kenneally, County Clare, Ireland. 1954. Vintage gelatin silver print, ca. 1956. Image measures 7 5/8 x 9 13/16. Credit stamp on print back.  Inventory #C0627.
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Sunday Mass at St. Mary’s, 1954. Vintage gelatin silver print, ca. 1956. Image measures 8 1/16 x 7 3/4 inches. Credit stamp.   Inventory #C1013.
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Paddy Reynolds from Kilfenora. Ennistymon fair, County Clare Ireland, 1954. Vintage gelatin silver print, ca. 1956. Image measures 6 9/16 x 9 13/16 inches. Credit stamp on print back.  Inventory #C0626.
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Bridget Wylde tends to her shop on Market Street, Ennis, 1954. Vintage gelatin silver print, ca. 1956. Image measures 7 5/8 x 7 7/8 inches. Credit stamp on print back. Inventory #C1014.
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Woman in Black, Ellen Shannon, Ennis Ireland. 1954. Vintage gelatin silver print, ca. 1956. Image measures 9 3/4 x 7 7/8 inches. Credit stamp on print back. Inventory #C0625.
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Father Carthage, a Franciscan friar  strides beside the Old Ground Hotel, 1954. Vintage gelatin silver print, ca. 1956. Image measures 9 7/8 x 7 5/8 inches. Credit stamp on print back. Inventory #C1015
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Sunday afternoon hurling absorbs attention of the parish’s men. 1954. Vintage gelatin silver print, ca. 1956. Image measures 9 7/8 x 6 5/8 inches. Credit stamp on print back. Inventory #C1017
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A neighbor pauses for a chat at the O’Halloran farm, Mount Callan, 1954. Vintage gelatin silver print, ca. 1956. Image measures 7 5/8 x 9 7/8 inches. Credit stamp on print back. Inventory #C1018
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