Ernest Lowe: Master Portfolio
Lowe began documenting the lives and labor of migrant farm workers in 1960, several years before labor unrest transformed the California Central Valley. As a result, he had access to the fields, front offices, and migrant camps of agribusinesses that later barred all photographers. His pictures end as the labor movement began to gather momentum. Although many of us associate farm labor with Spanish speaking migrants, Lowe's pictures reveal a much broader population: Anglos, Blacks, Filipinos, Japanese, Native Americans, Braceros from Mexico, as well as Chicano workers. His pictures respectfully celebrate the humanity and dignity of his subjects as well as the privation of their lives. Most are carefully composed, quiet moments.
This portfolio is loosely organized sequence of portraits, field work, labor recruitment, living conditions, migrant children, and early organizing efforts.