Central Park Zoo, New York City

Object Details


Central Park Zoo, New York City


Garry Winogrand (American, 1928 - 1984)




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




Gelatin silver print


22.9 x 34 cm (9 x 13 3/8 in.)


© 1984 The Estate of Garry Winogrand

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I think part of the aim was to unsettle people's ideas, whether his own or other people's. To move people out of an unquestioning space and to some less settled space in which the authority of rules and structures was broken up a bit.
-Eileen Hale, Garry Winogrand's widow

Garry Winogrand confronted tough issues like racism with a sense of humor, as he did here by photographing this black man and white woman holding apes. The chimpanzees are dressed like children and resemble the human child standing behind the couple. The photographer's close vantage point, the crowd, the dramatic winter light-all add a sense of spectacle.

Winogrand was not simply reacting to a strange moment, but probably also to racial tensions sweeping the country at the height of the Civil Rights movement. The year this picture was made, black actors won Academy Awards, and the U.S. Supreme Court overturned state laws banning interracial marriage. It is not clear whether this man and woman were actually a couple, but Winogrand must have known that their togetherness was as unsettling to some people as their circumstances were comical.

Strange Days: Photographs from the Sixties by Winogrand, Eggleston, and Arbus (July 1 to October 5, 2003)
  • The J. Paul Getty Museum at the Getty Center, (Los Angeles), July 1 to October 5, 2003
Convergences: Selected Photographs from the Permanent Collection (July 8 to October 19, 2014)
  • The J. Paul Getty Museum at the Getty Center, (Los Angeles), July 8 to October 19, 2014
Related Media
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    Audio: Central Park Zoo, New York City (feat. Kota Ezawa)