37 Years Of The Brown Sisters. Four Sisters Photographed Annually From 1975 – 2012.

Nicholas Nixon, who teaches at Massachusetts College of Art, is one of the most celebrated American photographers of our generation. Among the most compelling of his series of photographs are the portraits he has made of his close-knit family which, taken over time, explore the nature of long-committed relationships. His Brown Sisters series features an ongoing sequence of celebrated portraits of his wife, Bebe, and her three sisters; Heather, Mimi and Laurie.

37 Years Of The Brown Sisters

Taken annually, beginning in 1975, the unpretentious black and white portraits of the Brown Sisters reveal gradual changes in their appearances and shifts in their relationships over the past 37 years.


above: the first formal portrait of the four sisters in which Heather was 23, Mimi was 15, Bebe was 25, and Laurie was 21

Nixon says of the project “I really try hard to make the pictures as interesting formally as I possibly can. One of my clear visual tricks is that I like open sky, cause I love to see the shapes of their heads, and I like to play around with the intervals in between them. I take probably a dozen each year. They tell me what their favorites are, and what they dislike. But then I choose. I try to be as open with what they say as possible. In fact, I love to know what they think. Being an only child, it was really gratifying and lovely to be embraced by this family. There’s still a ground water of affection, and support. I look back at these thirty-some pictures and it’s like they’re of my sisters. I can feel myself getting old with them. And I’m part of them; they’re part of my love.”

Using a large eight-by-ten-inch view camera positioned at eye level, he always photographs the women in the same order from left to right: Heather, Mimi, Bebe, and Laurie. And will continue to do so.

The Brown Sisters by Nicholas Nixon from 1975 through 2012:
1975
1976
1977
1978
1979
1980
1981
1982
1983
1984
1985
1986
1987
1988
1989
1990
1991
1992
1993
1994
1995
1996
1997
1998
1999
2000
2001
2002
2003
2004
2005
2006
2007
2008
2009
2010
2011

2012

information and images courtesy of the following sources: MoMA, The National Gallery of Art.

Nicholas Nixon has now had multiple books of this project published at various yearly intervals you can shop for here.
He is represented by The Fraenkel Gallery

Nicholas Nixon Photography Books

Sponsored Links

[jetpack-related-posts]