Edith, Danville, Virginia
American, born 1941
This portrait is one from a series Gowin made of his wife and their family over more than three decades. In the tradition of Alfred Stieglitz’s famed photographs of Georgia O’Keeffe and Harry Callahan’s photographs of Eleanor Callahan, Gowin has created a collective portrait of his wife Edith, revealed in different moments, situations, and ages, that transcends any single depiction of her likeness. Here Edith’s parted legs add an erotic charge to the portrait, while her downward gaze and unabashed pose convey a confidence in her role as muse and an intimate trust in the photographer-subject relationship.