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A work made of gelatin silver print.

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  • A work made of gelatin silver print.




Joseph Sterling
American, 1936–2010

About this artwork

Joseph Sterling began photographing at age 11 and went on to study at Chicago’s famed Institute of Design (ID) under the tutelage of Harry Callahan, Aaron Siskind, and Frederick Sommer. Sterling spent five years in the later 1950s photographing disaffected youth; he interacted openly and directly with the teenagers, a choice that resulted, he said, in “either near-total failure or great success.” In 1961 work from his master’s thesis, “The Age of Adolescence,” was featured in a special ID-themed issue of Aperture and exhibited at the Art Institute; this print was purchased by the museum the same year. Rather than a sociological study, Sterling focused on gesture and pose in his photographs, hinting at the generational tensions that would explode later in the 1960s.


Currently Off View


Photography and Media


Joseph Sterling




United States (Artist's nationality:)

Date  Dates are not always precisely known, but the Art Institute strives to present this information as consistently and legibly as possible. Dates may be represented as a range that spans decades, centuries, dynasties, or periods and may include qualifiers such as c. (circa) or BCE.

Made 1958


Gelatin silver print


Image/paper: 15.3 × 11.5 cm (6 1/16 × 4 9/16 in.); Mount: 32.9 × 28 cm (13 × 11 1/16 in.)

Credit Line

Photography Gallery Fund

Reference Number


Extended information about this artwork

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