Rescue, from the series Small Wars Artist: An-My Lê (American, born Vietnam 1960, M.F.A. 1993)



Not on view

An-My Lê’s photographs examine the impacts of war and the violent transformation of natural landscapes into battlefields. Lê and her family fled Vietnam in 1975 during the final year of the Vietnam War and came to the United States as political refugees. In the series Small Wars, she photographed Vietnam War reenactments organized by re-creation societies in Virginia and North Carolina. Although the subjects’ costumes and gear look authentic, the landscape betrays the fiction: the North American pine trees distinguishable on either side of the composition of Rescue, for example, contrast with the dense tropical jungle that dominates the visual record of the war. Lê used a cumbersome, large-format camera in the tradition of nineteenth-century photographers such as Mathew Brady and Alexander Gardner, who had documented the grisly aftermath of U.S. Civil War battles in the forests of Virginia nearly 150 years earlier.


Gelatin silver print


image: 65.7 × 94.8 cm (25 7/8 × 37 5/16 in.)
framed: 68.3 × 7.4 cm (26 7/8 × 2 15/16 in.)

Credit Line

Janet and Simeon Braguin Fund

Accession Number



20th century


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 records is ongoing.


  • Lisa Hodermarsky et al., On the Basis of Art: 150 Years of Women at Yale, exh. cat. (New Haven, Conn.: Yale University Art Gallery, 2021), 136, 149, 236–37, no. 49, fig. 1.

Object copyright
Additional information

Object/Work type

gelatin silver prints


Women artists


Edition 2 of 5


Murray Guy gallery label, verso, upper edge center

Technical metadata and APIs


Open in Mirador

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