There's a new Dorothea Lange exhibit at MoMA NY. I'll get to the point of my post after linking to one of the featured photos and asking about it. PHOTO by Dorothea Lange Before continuing, please consider what you're seeing and how you might describe it and feel about it. Now that you've absorbed your impression of it, I'll continue the story. The author of The NY Times review of the exhibit relays the story that when Sarkowski first encountered the photo, he said: “It is a picture of a hard-faced old woman, looking out of the handsome oval window of the expensive automobile with her hand to her face as though the smell of the street was offending her, and I thought, ‘Isn’t that marvelous?’ That a photographer can pin that specimen to the board as some kind of exotic moth and show her there in her true colors." Later, when Sarkowski saw the title, Funeral Cortege, End of an Era in a Small Valley Town, California (1938), the author of the article relates, "he realized that the fancy car belonged to an undertaker, and the expression he took for haughtiness was grief." This is by way of introducing the curatorial theme of the exhibit: Lange's pictures require verbal commentary to be read legibly. So, I'm interested in hearing your first impression of the photo and your subsequent impression upon seeing the title, if there was a subsequent impression. And I'd also like hearing your thoughts about the curatorial theme itself. At first, I didn't see what Sarkowski saw. I mostly saw (without thinking about it much) a strong woman framed strongly and an homage to "woman." It reminded me of a cameo brooch my mother wore. On reading Sarkowski's initial description and the subsequent title, I wondered how much difference there was exactly between an expression of haughtiness and one of grief. And, while happy to get the info, wondered how much it actually informed me about what the photograph said to me. I like hearing about context but I try to consider context without necessarily letting it limit my relationship to a photo. I also wonder if it's the best example to use to introduce the show. There's a difference between what I hope a lot of the verbal commentary will be about, which is Lange's place in Depression Era photography, and on the other hand specific titles or captions that may seem to provide a basis for interpreting the photos. [I hope to see the exhibit in March and will let you know.] How much do I want, if at all, info and facts to change my emotional response to a photo and how much does info do that?