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Robert von Sternberg, American, b. 1939
Dublin, 1968
Ink on paper
10 3/8 x 10 1/2 in. (26.35 x 26.67 cm)

Object Type: Photography
Technique: Photography
Credit Line: Gift of Robert von Sternberg
Accession Number: 2013.15.1

A candid family portrait seems like a curious departure for von Sternberg, a photographer who normally pulls back to wide-open vistas to consider the interference of humans in the natural world. Dublin, too, is concerned with humans?but the focus here is as tight as the family huddle that the grandmother (at the center of the image) has hastily assembled. That is not to say that the excitement of pulling everyone together for a family photo has resulted in a prim one, though. Several figures have taken their positions so hastily that parts of their heads have been cropped out. The smaller children in the foreground do not seem to mind, meanwhile, and the two at center right can especially be caught looking elsewhere. Nonetheless, there is a warm charm to Dublin’s imperfection and spontaneity.

Liam Machado, Getty Multicultural Summer Intern 2015

This work was donated by the artist to Scripps College as part of the Museum Project, which was created by artists for artists to donate works to the permanent collections of museums and university museums of art. The founder of the project, photographer Robert von Sternberg, described the project’s beginnings. “Basically the idea for the project originated in a desire to thank, in general, the institutions that have shown a supportive commitment to photography as a fine art media.”

With photographer Darryl Curran, and Tim Wride, curator, Norton Museum, von Sternberg fleshed out the idea. “We discussed the influential artist photographers that we believe were pivotal in the transition away from the era of ‘traditionalism’ and had solid connections to the Southern California photographic art world, post 1965,” von Sternberg said. Curran and von Sternberg then contacted a number of artists they believed fell into that group. 

As of September 2013, only 11 months after its inception, $560,000 of artwork had been placed in museums and university museums of art.

Source: Conversations and email exchanges and with Robert von Sternberg by Williamson Gallery Staff, September 26, 2013

Verso, in pencil, left to right, bottom:
Dublin, Ireland 1968 Robert von Sternberg printed 2013

Digital print made from drum scanned film negatives on archival 13" x 19" Ilford Galerie Gold Fibre Silk paper stock.

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