The J. Paul Getty Museum

Seated Man, Uruapan del Progreso, Michoacán, Mexico

Object Details


Seated Man, Uruapan del Progreso, Michoacán, Mexico


Paul Strand (American, 1890 - 1976)




Mexico (Place Created)




Platinum print

Object Number:



14.9 × 11.7 cm (5 7/8 × 4 5/8 in.)


© Aperture Foundation

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Object Description

Paul Strand arrived in Mexico in late 1932, abandoning his "usual working methods at the border." No longer subscribing to the popular precept that "you can't make a portrait unless you know that person," Strand began making photographs of Mexico's native population. In this expressive image, a man in tattered clothing rests his head against a crumbling wall, with his eyes closed and his arm partially hiding his face. The burden of generations of labor and sorrow appears to overwhelm him. Without knowing the man personally, Strand managed to capture an iconic subject, whose dignity and vulnerability combined to reveal the hardship of village life.

after 1933

Paul Strand, American, 1890 - 1976

Paul Strand: People and Place (September 11 to November 25, 1990)
  • The J. Paul Getty Museum (Malibu), September 11 to November 25, 1990
Manuel Alvarez Bravo: Optical Parables (November 13, 2001 to February 9, 2003)
  • The J. Paul Getty Museum at the Getty Center (Los Angeles), November 13, 2001 to February 17, 2002
  • Museo Nacional de Arte (Mexico City), March 14 to June 2, 2002
  • Walker Art Center (Minneapolis), November 10, 2002 to February 9, 2003
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
Mexico: A Revolution in Art, 1910 - 1940 (July 6 to September 29, 2013)
  • Royal Academy of Arts (London), July 6 to September 29, 2013