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Catalog Data

Artist:
Nicholas Nixon, born Detroit, MI 1947  Search this
Sitter:
Portrait female  Search this
Medium:
gelatin silver print
Dimensions:
image: 7 5/8 × 9 5/8 in. (19.4 × 24.4 cm)
Type:
Photography
Date:
1981
Gallery Label:
In 1975, Nicholas Nixon made a photograph of his wife, Bebe, with her three sisters at a Brown family gathering, which became the starting point for one of the most remarkable portrait series of our time. He has continued to photograph the Brown sisters, lined up in the same order, every year since. Working with an eight-by-ten-inch view camera, Nixon contact-prints his negatives directly onto the photographic paper to capture the maximum possible detail.
Technically superb, Nixon's photographs echo the norms of the family snapshot, whose making has become, in his word, "an annual rite of passage" for himself and his subjects alike. Revealing nothing of their identities, Nixon offers instead a meditation on time. The portrait series speak poignantly of the Brown sisters' enduring relatedness, and by extension references that of our own among our families, our communities, and as humans relating to the world.
Topic:
Portrait female  Search this
Landscape\Ohio\Cincinnati  Search this
Portrait group\family\siblings  Search this
Credit Line:
Smithsonian American Art Museum, Gift of Nion McEvoy in memory of Nan Tucker McEvoy
Object number:
2015.33.7
Restrictions & Rights:
© Nicholas Nixon, courtesy Fraenkel Gallery, San Francisco
See more items in:
Smithsonian American Art Museum Collection
Department:
Graphic Arts
Data Source:
Smithsonian American Art Museum
EDAN-URL:
edanmdm:saam_2015.33.7