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Art & Design

Roy DeCarava
American, 1919-2009
Shirley Looking Down Stairwell, 1952
Gelatin silver print
Sheet: 35.4 x 28 cm (13 15/16 x 11 inches)
Georgianna Sayles Aldrich Fund 2002.4

Roy DeCarava

Shirley Looking Down Stairwell

Roy DeCarava
American, 1919-2009
Shirley Looking Down Stairwell, 1952
Gelatin silver print
Sheet: 35.4 x 28 cm (13 15/16 x 11 inches)
Georgianna Sayles Aldrich Fund 2002.4

This photograph conveys the anxiety of a waiting woman. Made the year Roy DeCarava won a prestigious fellowship from the John Simon Guggenheim Foundation, it is part of a larger project in which DeCarava intimately captured daily life in Harlem. His deeply compassionate images of his community so impressed Langston Hughes that the poet wrote a text to accompany them for what became a hugely successful book, The Sweet Flypaper of Life.


Other Photographs