1979, printed later
Archival pigment print with original handwriting
Paper: 48.9 x 59.1 cm (19 1/4 x 23 1/4 in.)
Gift of the Gelles Family and Pentimenti Gallery 2022.26
A stay-at-home mother with two young children, Judy Gelles enrolled in a class at the Rhode Island School of Design in 1977 to learn to take the perfect baby picture.
Gelles’s goal as a photographer changed the following year, as the difficulties of parenting increased and the feminist movement burgeoned. She began the Family Portrait series, Gelles said, “to break through the veneer of the Happy Family and the Content Mother and to expose the hidden and mundane events of family life. . . . These photographs were microcosmic of the Feminist reaction against the charade of the idyllic home life."
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