Dust Bowl - taken near LaMar, Colorado

Margaret Bourke-White, American, 1904 - 1971


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Gelatin silver print

Overall: 16 × 19 7/8 in. (40.6 × 50.5 cm)

Hood Museum of Art, Dartmouth: Gift of Jane and Raphael Bernstein



Place Imaged: Lamar, United States, North America

Place Made: United States, North America


20th century

Object Name


Research Area


Not on view


On print, above image: crayon notations; stamped, in blue ink, on reverse: Life Photo [Life Magazine stamp] Margaret Bourke-White; stamped: Jan 7 1955


Acclaimed photojournalist Margaret Bourke-White documented the impact of extreme drought conditions on rural families, first in the 1930s and again in the 1950s when Life magazine sent her to Colorado to document similar circumstances. The unusually deep furrows seen here were intended to stabilize the soil by creating large clumps of dirt that would retain finer particles, even in fierce winds. Unfortunately, it was not enough. Most of this region had formerly been range land, and the transition to wheat production diminished the soil’s stability.

From the 2022 exhibition This Land: American Engagement with the Natural World, curated by Jami C. Powell, Curator of Indigenous Art; Barbara J. MacAdam, former Jonathan L. Cohen Curator of American Art; Thomas H. Price, former Curatorial Assistant; Morgan E. Freeman, former DAMLI Native American Art Fellow; and Michael Hartman, Jonathan Little Cohen Associate Curator of American Art

Course History

HIST 6, NAS 30, History of the American West, Ben Madley, Winter 2012

ARTH 17, History of Photography, Katie Hornstein, Spring 2013

ENGS 7.02, Climate Change, Mary Albert, Winter 2019

ENGL 75.2, Climate Fiction, Alysia Garrison, Spring 2019

COLT 10.21, Coming to America, Gerd Gemunden, Spring 2019

Exhibition History

This Land: American Engagement with the Natural World, Owen Robertson Cheatham Gallery, Hood Museum of Art, Dartmouth, Hanover, New Hampshire, January 5–April 18, 2022.

Waterways: Tension and Flow, Harrington Gallery, Hood Museum of Art, Dartmouth College, Hanover, New Hampshire, April 4-August 23, 2015.


Sotheby's, New York, New York; sold to Jane and Raphael Bernstein, Ridgewood, New Jersey, November 6, 1984; lent to present collection, 2010; given to present collection, 2013.

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