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5 Items in this Learning Collection
Collection Object
Collection Object

Copyright
All Rights Reserved ()

Chimney Sweep and Children, Ireland

Accession Number
1981/2.168.2

Title
Chimney Sweep and Children, Ireland

Artist(s)
Alen MacWeeney

Artist Nationality
New Ireland

Object Creation Date
1965-1966, printed 1979

Medium & Support
gelatin silver print on paper

Dimensions
19 13/16 in x 15 15/16 in (50.4 cm x 40.5 cm);18 1/8 in x 22 3/16 in (46.04 cm x 56.36 cm)

Credit Line
Gift of Carl W. Melcher

Subject matter
This photograph shows a group of children and a man standing in a field below an overcast sky.  A smiling girl in a dirty sweater and skirt darts into the frame from the left. The man standing in the center right looks exhausted and weary. The work’s title lists him as a chimney sweep, and he appears to be wearing his buttoned dark uniform and cap, his face blackened with the soot of his occupation. In stark contrast to the ashen face of the man, the gleaming white face of a little girl stands directly in front of him. Unlike the figures behind her, she is not in focus, an effect that causes her to feel almost removed from the picture. Her blurred face stares expressionlessly into the camera’s lens, her presence appearing almost apparition-like. The individuals in this photograph belong to a small ethnic minority in Ireland known as Travellers, a nomadic community of people that move from site to site, assembling makeshift caravans and camps. This photograph was taken at their camp in an area known as Cherry Orchard. Behind the figures there stands a hut which appears to have been pieced together from various scrap materials. Sprinkled throughout the field are flecks of trash and debris.  

Physical Description
This photograph depicts a uniformed man and a group of children standing in a field, a makeshift hut behind them.

Primary Object Classification
Photograph

Collection Area
Photography

Rights
If you are interested in using an image for a publication, please visit http://umma.umich.edu/request-image for more information and to fill out the online Image Rights and Reproductions Request Form.

Keywords
Ireland
Irish
Workers
camps (temporary settlements)
children (people by age group)
fields (land)
girls
groups
house
huts (houses)
men (male humans)
modern and contemporary art
nomadism
standing
uniforms
workers

18 Related Resources

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(Part of 9 Learning Collections)
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(Part of 5 Learning Collections)
Home
(Part of 6 Learning Collections)
W15 Levinson - COMPLIT 122 - Insiders and Outsiders
(Part of: Teaching American Studies at UMMA)
Ireland
(Part of: Land and People)
Nature in Photography
(Part of 2 Learning Collections)
Photographic Portraiture 1949-1969
(Part of: Identity and Self-Understanding)
Poverty
(Part of 4 Learning Collections)
Social Justice
(Part of 3 Learning Collections)
Social Justice and Art 1946-1968
(Part of 4 Learning Collections)
Speaking With and Without Words
(Part of 2 Learning Collections)
Work and Workers
(Part of 9 Learning Collections)
Docent Resources: Watershed
(Part of: Docent Information From Training Continuing Education Sessions)

& Author Notes

All Rights Reserved

On display