Prints, Drawings, and Photographs
Photo credit: Yale University Art Gallery
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Artist: Garry Winogrand, American, 1928–1984

Dealey Plaza, Dallas

1964

Gelatin silver print

image: 23.3 x 34.5 cm (9 3/16 x 13 9/16 in.); sheet: 28.1 x 35.5 cm (11 1/16 x 14 in.)
Purchased with a gift from George C. Hutchinson III, B.A. 1957
2007.109.1
Garry Winogrand’s famous line, “I photograph to see what something will look like photographed,” suggests that he was more concerned with the form of his work than with its subject. But in Dealey Plaza, Dallas, form and content coalesce into an image of social import. Thrust into a group of camera-wielding tourists at the site of President John F. Kennedy’s assassination, the viewer is confronted with a disorienting jumble of gestures, shapes, and expressions that allude to the anxiety of a nation. The picture is also a commentary about photography itself. Every eye—including Winogrand’s own—sees through a lens, and here the Texas School Book Depository building in which Lee Harvey Oswald once worked is represented by its photographic surrogate. Instead of capturing a newsworthy event, Winogrand has imbued an otherwise inconsequential moment in history with unexpected gravitas.
Culture: 
American
Period: 
20th century
Classification: 
Works on Paper - Photographs
Status: 
By appointment
Bibliography: 

Art for Yale: Collecting for a New Century, exh. cat. (New Haven, Conn.: Yale University Art Gallery, 2007), 87, 364–65, pl. 71.

Note: This electronic record was created from historic documentation that does not necessarily reflect the Yale University Art Gallery’s complete or current knowledge about the object. Review and updating of such records is ongoing.

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