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Boy Fishing

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James H. Black, American, b. 1930
Boy Fishing, 1955-1956
Gelatin silver print on paper
10 in. x 8 in. (25.4 cm x 20.32 cm)

Object Type: Photography
Technique: Photography
Credit Line: Scripps College. Purchase made possible by the Jean and Arthur Ames Fund
Accession Number: 2010.5.5

"This classic image is the 'piece de resistance' for James H. Black and the culmination of all of his favorite themes and imagery: innocence, whimsy, quiet, solitude, water, boats, and children. Taken alongside the 'Jean Louis' in the Marseille port, a small boy fishes between the boat and the docks. As a small boy I too had my 'sanctuary'. I imagine the boy feels safe concealed between the boat and concrete dock. He sits mesmerized with his task of throwing out the line in an effort to catch dinner for his proud parents and siblings. He is unaware of the life bustling behind him. It gives me joy to also think that the newspaper in front of him was what he was able to reach and 'fish' out ofo the water while another piece of newspaper lies to the corner of the image, outside of his small reach. He securely places the paper that he is able to retrieve underneath a partial trap or bait box so that it won't fly back into the water. It is his small effort to protect his 'special place'. This is one of my father's favorite photographs as the boy is so transfixed in the moment that his head never lifts to the 'happenings' of the world around him."
(Sean Black, son of James H. Black)


Gelatin silver print, hand-printed from medium format negatives on photographic paper, selenium toned.

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