The Brown Sisters, Dallas, Texas

Smithsonian American Art Museum

The Brown Sisters, Dallas, Texas

Artist
Nicholas Nixon, born Detroit, MI 1947
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.
Credit Line
Smithsonian American Art Museum, Gift of Nion McEvoy in memory of Nan Tucker McEvoy
Copyright
© Nicholas Nixon, courtesy Fraenkel Gallery, San Francisco
2008
Object number
2015.33.34
Restrictions & Rights
Usage conditions apply
Type
Photography
Medium
gelatin silver print
Dimensions
image: 7 5/8 × 9 5/8 in. (19.4 × 24.4 cm)
Department
Graphic Arts
Smithsonian American Art Museum
Topic
Landscape\Texas\Dallas
Portrait group\family\siblings
Record ID
saam_2015.33.34
GUID (Link to Original Record)
http://n2t.net/ark:/65665/vk7a8d1168b-4458-4180-a396-cef68b319f29