It all started in 1975 when Nicholas Nixon took a photograph of his wife Bebe and her three sisters, Heather, Mimi, and Laurie Brown. They were spending some quality time together that fine summer day at home in New Canaan, Connecticut. At the time, the sisters ranged in age from 15 to 25. A year later, they were gathered together again to celebrate one of the sisters’ college graduation. Nicholas brought the previous year’s photo along to show everyone. Why not take another? Now he had an idea. Nicholas had the four of them line up in the same order so he could create the 1976 edition.
What’s more, the four sisters agreed to meet up every year so that Nicholas could take a similar photo of them each year. By 2010, the collection had grown to 36 of these annual photos and the next year he decided to make an exhibit out of them. Entitled simply “The Brown Sisters,” it’s been a big hit with both critics and the public. The photos have been on display in galleries all over the world, most notably at New York’s Museum of Modern Art.
The way that the four sisters gaze at the camera in each photo as they gradually get older may be what makes the photos so poignant. We get a tiny peek at their lives and from there, our imaginations run wild. This may explain why gallery goers have reacted to the exhibit so emotionally.
We’ve posted a video that shows all 36 photos from “The Brown Sisters” collection. It really shows how time can sneak up on you!
How did you like Nicholas Nixon’s brilliant idea for a photo collection? Let us know in the comments at Facebook. Don’t forget to like and share: you might inspire your friends to embark on a similar project.