Marriage and Family Life With Maynard Dixon

In 1919 the colorful western painter and illustrator Maynard Dixon walked into Dorothea Lange’s portrait studio. Dixon was a leading figure in the San Francisco art scene. Romance quickly blossomed, and the two were married early the following year. Dixon was 21 years Lange’s senior, with a teenage daughter from a previous marriage. Though Lange continued to operate her studio, she sublimated her own artistic pursuits to support Dixon’s work, both financially and by looking after their two sons. She occasionally joined him on his frequent trips to the Southwest, making photographs that echo his iconic paintings of desert scenes and Native Americans. The couple divorced in 1935.

I wasn’t really involved in the vitals of the man, not the vitals. I continued to reserve a small portion of my life, and that was my photographic area. — Dorothea Lange