35 Items in this Learning Collection
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All Rights Reserved ()

New York City

Accession Number

New York City

Garry Winogrand

Artist Nationality
American (North American)

Object Creation Date
1964; printed 1978

Medium & Support
gelatin silver print on paper

13 7/16 in x 9 1/16 in (34.13 cm x 23.02 cm)

Credit Line
Gift of Stanley T. Lesser, A.B. 1951, J.D. 1953

Label copy
Winogrand produced a series of photographs executed at the Central Park Zoo in which human interaction is set against the action of the animals. In this instance, Winogrand has captured a chain-reaction of gazes at the walrus display. The three figures, peering at the walrus, have compressed their bodies into limb-less forms that echo the walrus’s own shape. The walrus, on the other hand, gazes directly at the camera. The equation of the people and animals in this series is masterful, and Winogrand uses the verticals of the railing and bamboo fence to imply that it is the people who are confined in an enclosure, not the walrus.
Carole McNamara, Assistant Director for Collections & Exhibitions
on the occasion of the exhibition New York Observed: The Mythology of the City
(July 13 – September 22, 2003)

Subject matter
This photograph depicts a scene at New York City’s Central Park Zoo, in which a small group of people peer down into the waters of a walrus pool. The pool is circular, indicated by the curved, angled railing that separates the people from the edge of the water. Below the onlookers is a large walrus, its inky-dark form standing out against the rippling water. The people gaze intently on the creature, while the walrus’ gaze is instead focused on the camera. Behind the crowd is a wooden fence that angles downwards away from the viewer. The downward angle of the fence, the curved railing and pool, and the bowed position of the spectators fills the composition with arching, diagonal movement.

Physical Description
This photograph depicts a scene at a zoological park, showing a group of people standing by a railing looking downwards into a pool with a walrus. 

Primary Object Classification

Collection Area

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Odobenidae (family)
Urban life
aquariums (containers)
modern and contemporary art
open-air zoos
railings (balustrades)
urban parks
viewers (observers)
zoos (institutions)

38 Related Resources

Art of interest to Judaic Studies
(Part of 3 Learning Collections)
New York City
(Part of 3 Learning Collections)
(Part of 9 Learning Collections)
Sharing the Planet  
(Part of: I.B. Units of Inquiry)
Jewish Photographers 
(Part of: Ethnicity and Race)
Garry Winogrand
(Part of: Modern Jewish Photography F22 - Dash Moore)

& Author Notes

All Rights Reserved