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"The Faceless Figure: Photographs from the Collection"
2003-12-20 until 2003-06-03
Philadelphia Museum of Art
The human figure has long been
a favorite subject of the camera.
In this exhibition of more than fifty
photographs from the Museum
collection, artists purposely defy
expectations and the conventions
of portraiture by taking pictures of
people whose faces are unseen.
The result is a body of pictures
ranging from the unsettling to the
hilarious. Photographers Edward
Weston and Barbara Morgan
concentrate on the beauty and
eloquence of the human form,
while Lee Friedlander finds humor in figures whose faces are obscured by a camera or a placard.
some images, the anonymity of the figure is used to suggest Everyman, while others teach us that it
is not just the face that identifies individuality. Techniques used by the photographers include back
views, silhouetting, and cropping. Other figures are cloaked, masked, or in motion. The exhibition
includes inventive images by a wide range of photographers, including Henri Cartier-Bresson,
Connie Imboden, William Larson, Ralph Eugene Meatyard, and Jerry Uelsmann.
Industrial Accident Victim, Daytona
Burk Uzzle, American, born 1938
Gelatin silver print
14 5/8 x 14 7/16 inches (37.1 x
20 x 16 inches (50.8 x 40.6 cm)
Photograph taken in: Daytona Beach,
Florida, United States of America
Purchased with the Lola Downin Peck
Fund and with funds contributed by
John and Jane Medveckis, Douglas
Mellor, and H. Ross Watson, Jr., 1984