V&A Search the Collections

The Brown Sisters, Ipswich, Massachusetts

  • Object:

    Photograph

  • Place of origin:

    Massachusetts (photographed)

  • Date:

    1982 (photographed)

  • Artist/Maker:

    Nixon, Nicholas (photographer)

  • Materials and Techniques:

    Gelatin-silver print (contact print made from 10 x 8 inch negatives)

  • Museum number:

    E.2716-1990

  • Gallery location:

    Prints & Drawings Study Room, level F, case X, shelf 978, box B

  • Public access description

    Nixon has been photographing the sisters once a year, in roughly the same pose for almost thirty years, beginning in 1975. Nixon has used a large format, 10"x8" negative plate camera to photograph, which gives maximum clarity in the printed image because of the size of the negative from which it is made. The series maps their shared and also individual passage of time and developing womanhood. One of the sisters, Bebe, is married to Nixon and a query for the viewer that this series raises is whether you can tell, by the manners by which these women face the camera, which one is his wife.

  • Physical description

    Black and white photograph of four young women shown looking towards the camera.

  • Marks and inscriptions

    'Nicholas Nixon'
    Signed in pencil on the back

    'Heather Brown, Mimi Brown, Bebe Brown Nixon, Laurie Brown Tranchin, Ipswich Mass., 1982.'
    Inscribed in pencil on the back

    '27/50 NN 16792'
    Numbered in pencil on the back

  • Dimensions

    Height: 20.3 cm, Width: 25.4 cm

  • Descriptive line

    Photograph by Nicholas Nixon, 'The Brown Sisters, Ipswich, Massachusetts', from the series entitled 'The Brown Sisters', gelatin-silver prints, USA, 1982

  • Bibliographic References (Citation, Note/Abstract, NAL no)

    Victoria and Albert Museum Department of Prints, Drawings and Paintings Accession Register for 1990

  • Collection code

    Prints, Drawings & Paintings Collection