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Leon Levinstein, American, (1910–1988)
Man wearing Texas pin surrounded by people, Gelatin silver print on paper
10 1/2 x 13 1/4 in. (26.7 x 33.7 cm)

Object Type: Photography
Technique: Photography
Period: Contemporary 1946-present
Credit Line: Gift of Geoffrey West
Accession Number: 2015.5.15

Out of all the smiling figures in this image, the viewer’s eye is drawn straight to the man wearing the Texas pin. His shock of white hair acts as a beacon against the dark background, and exudes a sense of exuberance that Levinstein must have noticed. A wide smile dimples his entire face, and his attentive stance is similar to a patient child awaiting a reward. Levinstein’s images are not just documents of city life: they are also visualizations of his emotional connection to the people and places around him. The image transforms into a visual diary entry, laying the world bare as Levinstein experienced it. Levinstein could have photographed the entire crowd, but chose to crop off many of the people in front of him, focusing on the man and (presumably) his family. The potential trio of father, mother, and son embodies a sense of familial community that stands out even in the joyful crowd.

Allegra Cox, SCR 2018

artist stamp verso

gelatin silver print on paper

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