To refresh your memory: The famous portrait, Migrant Mother, has a George R. Stewart connection. Stewart knew Dorothea Lange, the photographer, and her husband Dr. Paul Taylor. Stewart may have written part of STORM in the Taylor-Lange arts and crafts cottage in Berkeley.
(See earlier post for the famous photo and more detail.)
Thanks to a local citizen, Tobie Charles, I discovered that the photo was taken not far from where this is being written – in the small rural town of Nipomo. Now, with help from a local museum fellow writer Brian Byrne found the actual location of the Nipomo pea pickers camp where the photo was taken.
Here’s a location shot, which shows the Migrant Mother’s family in her tent. Notice the Eucalyptus trees in the background:
If you look carefully at those trees, and imagine the same location a 80 years later, this is how it would look:
The exact location won’t be published, to protect the site; but it is certainly one of the most important places in American and world history, and the birthplace of a milestone in photographic art.
Stewart was not alone in his ground-breaking work and ideas. He was part of a group of scholars, writers, artists, and thinkers who helped create a small enlightenment with big effects, centered around UC Berkeley, and the Central California coast. Steinbeck, Ansel Adams, Edward Weston, and many others – including Dorothea Lange and Stewart – helped change the world. Such changes require a Fellowship of great minds, like these.