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Galax, Virginia

A work made of gelatin silver print.

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  • A work made of gelatin silver print.


1962, printed by 1979


Lee Friedlander
American, born 1934

About this artwork

Lee Friedlander belongs to a generation of American documentary photographers in the 1950s and ’60s who sought not to enact social change, but rather to draw attention to the realities of contemporary society. For 50 years Friedlander has traveled the country’s cities and towns, documenting distinctly American idiosyncrasies. One group of photographs, sometimes referred to as the Little Screens, features bleak, interchangeable motel rooms glowing with televisions depicting happy, anonymous people. By the 1960s television was America’s most popular form of mass media. The palpable isolation in Friedlander’s series contrasts starkly with the widespread depictions of nuclear families at home, cheerfully gathered around their TV sets. Walker Evans, whose work was a source of inspiration for Friedlander, described these photographs as “witty, sparkling little poems of hate… . Taken out of context as they are here, that baby might be selling skin rash.”


Currently Off View


Photography and Media


Lee Friedlander


Galax, Virginia


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 1962


Gelatin silver print


Image: 18.8 × 28.3 cm (7 7/16 × 11 3/16 in.); Paper: 28 × 35.3 cm (11 1/16 × 13 15/16 in.)

Credit Line

Gift of Robert A. Taub

Reference Number


Extended information about this artwork

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