Bowdoin College Museum of Art

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Image of Child in Window, Clothesline, New York 11041

1992.40

Artist

Roy Rudolph DeCarava

Title

Child in Window, Clothesline, New York

Creation Date

1950

Century

20th century

Dimensions

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

Object Type

photograph

Creation Place

North America, American, New York

Medium and Support

gelatin silver print

Credit Line

Gift of Samuella Shain

Copyright

This artwork may be under copyright. For further information, please consult the Museum’s Copyright Terms and Conditions.

Accession Number

1992.40
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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