Edith, Christmas Morning, Danville, Virginia

Edith, Christmas Morning, Danville, Virginia


Emmet Gowin

(American, 1941-)

Gelatin silver print

Image: 20.3 x 25.2 cm (8 x 9 15/16 in.); Matted: 35.6 x 45.7 cm (14 x 18 in.)

Gift of Museum members in 1989 1989.435

Impression: 20



Emmet Gowin's first important photographic achievement was a body of work created from the mid-1960s through the early 1970s. The photographs were deeply personal images of his wife, Edith, and their two children, Elijah and Isaac, as well as other family members. In Edith, Christmas Morning, Danville, Virginia, Gowin captured the turmoil—physical and emotional—of Christmas morning. His wife surveys both the wreckage of wrapping paper and boxes and the delight of her young sons, playing with their newly opened gifts. The image is given an almost mystical quality by Gowin's dramatic use of light and shadow. The circular format was created by attaching a lens intended for a smaller camera onto his 8-x-10-inch view camera.

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