Aaron Siskind, American, Gloucester 1H, 1944, Gelatin silver print; 17.8 x 11.8 cm (7 x 4 5/8 inches), Gift of Mr. Robert B. Menschel 77.145.2
Searching for a metaphorical visual language to express World War II’s trauma, Aaron Siskind moved away from documentary photo-graphy to explore a more personal vision in the 1940s. Siskind created several images with a glove in Gloucester, Massachusetts, during 1944, but none as successful as this one. The stiff glove appears to gesture upward, imbuing the image with a powerful animate quality as if there were a hand inside. The reference to a body fragment suggests brutality, yet the photograph is open to many levels of meaning having to do with the notion of touch and the idea of creating personal, emotional work with a machine, in this case a camera, rather than by hand.