The J. Paul Getty Museum

Photograph - New York [Blind Woman]

Object Details


Photograph - New York [Blind Woman]


Paul Strand (American, 1890 - 1976)




New York, New York, United States (Place Created)


negative 1916; print 1917



Object Number:



22.4 × 16.7 cm (8 13/16 × 6 9/16 in.)

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Object Description

I remember coming across Paul Strand'sBlind Womanwhen I was very young, and that really bowled me over. . . . It's a very powerful picture. I saw it in the New York Public Library file ofCamera Work , and I remember going out of there over stimulated: That's the stuff, that's the thing to do. It charged me up.
--Walker Evans

The impact of seeing this striking image for the first time is evident in Walker Evans's vivid recollection. At the time, most photographers were choosing "pretty" subjects and creating fanciful atmospheric effects in the style of the Impressionists. Paul Strand's unconventional subject and direct approach challenged assumptions about the medium.

At once depicting misery and endurance, struggle and degradation, Strand's portrait of a blind woman sets up a complex confrontation. "The whole concept of blindness," as one historian has noted, "is aimed like a weapon at those whose privilege of sight permits them to experience the picture. . . ."

1993 -

Daniel Wolf, Inc. New York, NY, USA


Estate of Georgia O'Keeffe, American, 1887 - 1986

Three Roads Taken: The Photographs of Paul Strand (May 10, 2005 to June 10, 2006)
  • The J. Paul Getty Museum at the Getty Center (Los Angeles), May 10 to September 4, 2005
  • Musée d'Art Américain (Giverny), April 1 to June 10, 2006
In Focus: Expressions (May 22 to October 28, 2018)
  • The J. Paul Getty Museum at the Getty Center (Los Angeles), May 22 to October 28, 2018

Vrba, František. Paul Strand. (Prague: State Publishing House, 1961), p. 1.

Green, Jonathan, ed. Camera Work: A Critical Anthology. (New York: Aperture, 1973), p. 322.

Tomkins, Calvin. Paul Strand: sixty years of photographs. (Millerton: Aperture, 1976), fig. 37.

Margolis, Marianne Fulton, ed. Alfred Stieglitz: Camera Work: A Pictorial Guide With Reproductions of All 559 Illustrations & Plates, Fully Indexed. (New York: Dover Publications, 1978), p. 138, fig. 3.

Roberts, Pam. Alfred Stieglitz: Camera Work: The Complete Illustrations 1903 - 1917. (Cologne: Benedict Taschen Verlag GmbH, 1997), p. 771.

Llano, Rafael. Paul Strand: en el principio fue Manhattan [First there was Manhattan] (A Coruña: Fundación Pedro Barrié de la Maza, 2008), p. 73.

Daniel, Malcolm. Stieglitz, Steichen, Strand: Masterworks from the Metropolitan Museum of Art. (New York: Metropolitan Museum of Art; New Haven: Yale University Press, 2010), pl. 103.