An Intimate Look at Genius with Child of Giants: My Journey with Maynard Dixon & Dorothea Lange on KQED’s Truly CA

— Premieres on KQED Public Television 9 on Sunday, July 24 at 5:30pm –

“I suppose if one of my children were here discussing their relationship to me they would be able to think of things that were quite horrifying, dreadful, that I did, that I was…”
– Dorothea Lange from her oral history

June 28, 2011 San Francisco, CA — They were a creative supercouple, two giants of the American art world: photographer Dorothea Lange (1895-1965) and painter of the Southwest Maynard Dixon (1875-1946). But for their children, these formidable parents cast a heavy shadow. Their eldest son, Daniel Rhoades Dixon, learns that his birthright comes with gifts and curses in the newest film in KQED’s documentary film series Truly CA. Thomas Ropelewski’s moving Child of Giants: My Journey with Maynard Dixon & Dorothea Lange, premieres on Sunday, July 24 at 5:30pm on KQED Public Television 9.

While Lange and Dixon were in the field creating some of the most indelible images of all time – including Lange’s Migrant Mother (1936), perhaps the most iconic American photographic image of the 20th Century – Daniel and his younger brother John, beginning at the ages of seven and four, were placed in a series of foster homes, never knowing when they might see their parents again. Daniel became a troubled teenage rebel, stealing and selling his mother’s cameras and his father’s artwork, and living homeless on the streets of Oakland, California. Against all odds, he finally came to a surprising reconciliation with his parents’ lives and legacies.

While telling the story of two of this country’s most original and maverick artists from a uniquely personal perspective, Child of Giants features rare and never-before-seen photographs from the private collection of members of the Dixon-Lange family and from the Oakland Museum of California’s Dorothea Lange Archive.

Child of Giants also includes candid commentary from many members of Dixon and Lange’s extended family, including screenwriter Leslie Dixon (Mrs. Doubtfire, Hairspray), as well as renowned Bay Area photographers Rondal Partridge and Christina Gardner, both of whom recount tales of being in the field with Dorothea Lange during some of her most significant assignments.

Truly CA films will continue this fall with more stories of life in the Golden State. More information, film descriptions, and previews are available at

About Truly CA
Winner of five Northern California Emmy Awards, Truly CA is KQED’s series of independent documentaries about life in the Golden State. Since 2007, select Truly CA films have been presented by KQED to stations throughout California. It airs monthly on Sundays at 6pm on KQED 9. Truly CA is a KQED production presented in association with the California Council for the Humanities.

About KQED
KQED ( has served Northern California for more than 50 years and is affiliated with NPR and PBS. KQED owns and operates public television stations KQED 9 (San Francisco/Bay Area), KTEH 54 (San Jose/Bay Area), and KQET 25 (Watsonville/Monterey); KQED Public Radio (88.5FM San Francisco and 89.3FM Sacramento); the interactive platforms,, and; and KQED Education. KQED Public Television, one of the nation’s most-watched public television stations, is the producer of local and national series such as QUEST; Check, Please! Bay Area; This Week in Northern California; Truly CA; and Essential Pépin. KQED’s digital television channels include 9HD, Life, World, Kids, and V-me, and are available 24/7 on Comcast. KQED Public Radio, home of Forum with Michael Krasny and The California Report, is one of the most-listened-to public radio stations in the nation with an award-winning news and public affairs program service delivering more than eighteen local newscasts daily. KQED Interactive provides KQED’s cross-platform news service,, as well as offers several popular local blogs, video and audio podcasts, and a live radio stream at KQED Education brings the impact of KQED to thousands of teachers, students, parents, and the general public through workshops, community screenings, and multimedia resources.


Media Contact: Meredith Gandy
(415) 553-2116 or

**Screeners available upon request**