Object Details




Eileen Cowin (American, born 1947)




United States (Place Created)




Chromogenic print

Object Number:



48.4 × 60.7 cm (19 1/16 × 23 7/8 in.)


© Eileen Cowin

Credit Line:

The J. Paul Getty Museum, Los Angeles, Purchased with funds provided by the Photographs Council

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In her series Family DocudramaCowin blurs the boundaries between truth and fiction, and private behavior and public performance. Drawing equally from family snapshots and soap operas, she presents staged domestic scenes in which she and members of her family, including her identical twin sister, perform as actors. In these ambiguous, open-ended narratives, dramatic moments are exaggerated and the camera's glare is ever present.

1980/1983 - 2008

Created by the artist, Eileen Cowin, American, born 1947 (Los Angeles, California), sold to the J. Paul Getty Museum, 2008.

Studio Work: Photographs by Ten Los Angeles Photographers (July 22 to October 31, 1982)
  • Los Angeles County Museum of Art (Los Angeles), July 22 to October 31, 1982
Figurative Contexts: An Exhibition of Photographs in Color: Mary Ahrendt, Eileen Cowin, Bernard Faucon, Katherine Fishman, Scott Macleay, Rosamond Wolff Purcell, Don Rodan, Sandy Skoglund, Laurie Simmons (September 3 to October 2, 1983)
  • Turman Gallery (Terre Haute), September 3 to October 2, 1983
Eileen Cowin, John Divola: Recent Work, No Fancy Titles (August 17 to October 6, 1985)
  • Museum of Contemporary Art, San Diego (La Jolla), August 17 to October 6, 1985
4 x 4: Four Photographers by Four Writers (January 1 to December 31, 1987)
  • University of Colorado, Boulder, January 1 to December 31, 1987
The Photographic: Two Points of View: Eileen Cowin, Darryl Curran (February 4 to March 5, 1989)
  • Nicholas and Lee Begovich Gallery (Fullerton), February 4 to March 5, 1989
Eileen Cowin, Work 1971-1998: Still (and All) (January 23 to March 29, 2000)
  • Armory Center for the Arts (Pasadena), January 23 to March 29, 2000
Transfictions: Jack Butler, Eileen Cowin, and Grant Mudford (February 18 to April 17, 2004)
  • USC Fisher Museum of Art (Los Angeles), February 18 to April 17, 2004
In Focus: Making a Scene (June 30 to October 18, 2009)
  • The J. Paul Getty Museum at the Getty Center (Los Angeles), June 30 to October 18, 2009

Bicos, Sophia and Jay Belloli, eds. Eileen Cowin, Work 1971-1998: Still (and All), exh. cat. (Pasadena: Armory Center for the Arts, 2000), p. 21, ill.