Untitled

Open Content images tend to be large in file-size. To avoid potential data charges from your carrier, we recommend making sure your device is connected to a Wi-Fi network before downloading.

This image is available for download, without charge, under the Getty's Open Content Program.

Not currently on view

Object Details

Title:

Untitled

Artist/Maker(s):

Donald Blumberg (American, born 1935)

Culture:

American

Place(s):

United States (Place created)

Date:

1965 - 1967

Medium:

Gelatin silver print

Dimensions:

15.9 x 41.8 cm (6 1/4 x 16 7/16 in.)

Copyright:

© Donald Blumberg

See more

See less

By joining together the crisply delineated image of a solitary woman with the blurred image of a priest, it might be interpreted that photographer Donald Blumberg was attempting to make a metaphorical statement about faith. But Blumberg was more interested in using photography as a form of visual experimentation. His choice of religious subject matter was somewhat arbitrary. As he wandered the streets of New York City, he came upon the right type of light to test out his ideas: a dark background behind a brightly lit public walkway where he could anonymously record passersby. The sidewalk in front of St. Patrick's Cathedral proved to be the ideal place.

Donald Blumberg's series In Front of St. Patrick's Cathedral was made along Fifth Avenue in Manhattan between 1965 and 1967. By tilting the camera and excluding the edges of the building's darkened doorway as worshippers spilled out into the bright sunlight, he created unconventional scenes in which figures float against a dense black background, unmoored from the specificities of time and place. Blumberg planned and shot sequences that depicted a single figure successively, changed its scale, or blurred its appearance as he moved the camera during long exposures. By combining two to three contiguous 35mm frames within a single panoramic print, he introduced a sense of movement and narrative to still photography.

Exhibitions
Public Faces/Private Spaces: Recent Acquisitions (October 10, 2006 to February 4, 2007)
  • The J. Paul Getty Museum at the Getty Center, (Los Angeles), October 10, 2006 to February 4, 2007