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Between and Mortarboard

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Untitled ("Ivy Mike" Nuclear Test)

Accession Number

Untitled ("Ivy Mike" Nuclear Test)


Artist Nationality
American (North American)

Object Creation Date

Medium & Support
chromogenic print on paper

11 ⅝ in x 19 1/16 in (29.53 cm x 48.42 cm);16 in x 20 in (40.64 cm x 50.8 cm);11 9/16 in x 14 ½ in (29.37 cm x 36.83 cm);11 9/16 in x 19 1/16 in (29.37 cm x 48.42 cm)

Credit Line
Gift of The Morris and Beverly Baker Foundation, in memory of Morris D. Baker, a graduate of The University of Michigan School of Architecture, 1952

Subject matter
Created from inside a US military airplane, this photograph depicts the detonation of the first hydrogen bomb ever created. Dwarfing the clouds around it, the mushroom cloud characteristic of nuclear explosions surges upwards with terrifying force. The 10.4 mega-ton yield explosion was created on the small sandy island of Elugelab, in the Eniwetok Atoll in the South Pacific. Codenamed “Ivy Mike,” the US military detonated the device on November 1st, 1952 at 7:15am. In the aftermath of the test, the tiny island was found to have been completely vaporized, leaving a submerged crater over a mile across and nearly two hundred feet deep.  Estimated to be over a thousand times more powerful than an atomic blast, this device’s successful detonation marks humanity’s ability to achieve unprecedented destructive potential, and signals the impending escalation of nuclear armaments between the US and the USSR during the Cold War.   

Physical Description
This photograph depicts a mushroom cloud from a hydrogen bomb explosion rising over other clouds and an ocean below.

Primary Object Classification

Collection Area

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aerial photographs
destruction (process)
military photography
nuclear bombs
nuclear radiation
nuclear test sites