Bowdoin College Museum of Art

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Child in Window, Clothesline, New York

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Child in Window, Clothesline, New York

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Roy Rudolph DeCarava


Child in Window, Clothesline, New York

Creation Date


Medium & Support

gelatin silver print


14 in. x 8 5/8 in. (35.56 cm. x 21.91 cm.)

Credit Line

Gift of Samuella Shain

Accession Number



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Drawing attention through his title to a child, whose face presses against the glass of the window near the center of the image, Roy DeCarava reveals a subtle, but powerful presence. With his keen powers of observation, DeCarava captures the dignified aspiration of the youth, over whose small frame bright white laundry shines out like a banner. A native of Harlem, DeCarava, originally trained as a painter, turning to photography in the late 1940s. In 1952, he became the first African American photographer to earn a Guggenheim fellowship, determined to express the lived experience of black Americans. Reflecting later in life upon his career, DeCarava mused: “It doesn’t have to be pretty to be true. But if it’s true it’s beautiful. Truth is beautiful. And so my whole work is about what amounts to a reverence for life itself.”

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