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A black-and-white photograph portrays a group of men lining up in front of an office service counter.

A black-and-white photograph shows an overhead shot of a group of nine men lining up along the center from the lower right to the upper left in front of a service counter on a large square tile floor, along with a few men waiting in a separate line at the bottom of the frame. Most of the men wear suits and fedora hats. The third white man from the left looks up at the viewer.

Identification and Creation

Object Number
Dorothea Lange, American (Hoboken, New Jersey 1895 - 1965 San Francisco, California)
Unemployment benefits aid begins. Line of men inside a division office of the State Employment Service office at San Francisco, California, waiting to register for benefits on one of the first days the office was open. They will receive from six to fifteen dollars per week for up to sixteen weeks. Coincidental with the announcement that the federal unemployment census showed close to ten million persons out of work, twenty-two states begin paying unemployment compensation
Other Titles
Former Title: Line-up at Social Security in Early Days of the Program, 1937
Work Type
January 1938, printed later
Creation Place: North America, United States, California, San Francisco
Persistent Link

Physical Descriptions

Gelatin silver print
image: 19.1 x 24 cm (7 1/2 x 9 7/16 in.)
sheet: 20.4 x 25.1 cm (8 1/16 x 9 7/8 in.)
mount: 20.4 x 25.1 cm (8 1/16 x 9 7/8 in.)

Acquisition and Rights

Credit Line
Harvard Art Museums/Fogg Museum, Transfer from the Carpenter Center for the Visual Arts
Accession Year
Object Number
Modern and Contemporary Art

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Exhibition History

  • 32Q: 1320 Social Realism, Harvard Art Museums, Cambridge, 10/05/2016 - 03/29/2017

Verification Level

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