Sponsored

Living

More Than Skin Deep: 4 Sisters Over the Years

How this photo series shows the march of time


Each year for 40 years, Nicholas Nixon has photographed his wife and her three sisters, always lined up in the same order. The resulting series of black-and-white photographs shows the inevitable march of time, as the sisters’ unlined faces and fierce expressions soften and deepen; as their stances change from individual, distant, almost surly, to entwined, loving and protective.

All 40 portraits of the Brown Sisters  — Heather, Mimi, Bebe (Nixon’s wife) and Laurie  — have been displayed at New York’s Museum of Modern Art. If you missed the show, you can see the gathered images in MoMA’s book,  Nicholas Nixon: The Brown Sisters. 40 Years.

Much has been written about the photographs, but perhaps the best summary comes from MoMA: “These silent records, with their countless shades of visual and emotional gray, can promote a new appreciation of an intangible part of (the world): the world of time and age, of commitment and love.”

Here, the artist speaks about his work:

Nicholas Nixon–The Brown Sisters from Fraenkel Gallery on Vimeo.

Nicholas Nixon. The Brown Sisters, Harwich Port, Massachusetts. 1978.
The Museum of Modern Art, New York. John Parkinson III Fund @ 2014 Nicholas Nixon

Nicholas Nixon. The Brown Sisters, Wellesley, Massachusetts. 1988.
The Museum of Modern Art, New York. The Family of Man Fund @ 2014 Nicholas Nixon

Nicholas Nixon. The Brown Sisters, Brookline, Massachusetts. 1999.
The Museum of Modern Art, New York. Gift of the artist @ 2014 Nicholas Nixon

Nicholas Nixon. The Brown Sisters, Wellfleet, Massachusetts. 2014.
The Museum of Modern Art, New York. Cornelius N. Bliss Memorial Fund @ 2014 Nicholas Nixon

Sue Campbell
By Sue Campbell
Sue Campbell is the former Editorial and Content Director for Next Avenue. Follow her on Twitter @SuePCampbell.@SuePCampbell

Next Avenue Editors Also Recommend:

Are you one of the 1,679 readers who have supported Next Avenue in 2019?

If so, thank you. Your financial gift helps us fulfill our mission of being an essential source of news and information for older adults. Just as important, your contribution demonstrates that you believe in the value of our work. We have a lot of exciting things planned in 2020 and we need your help to make sure they happen.

Haven’t given yet? Please make a gift today and help us reach our end-of-year goal — any amount helps. Thank you.

Sponsored

Sponsored

Sponsored