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Catskill Mountain Resort

Accession Number
2000/2.158.8

Title
Catskill Mountain Resort

Artist(s)
Joel Meyerowitz

Artist Nationality
American (North American)

Object Creation Date
1965

Medium & Support
gelatin silver print on paper

Dimensions
11 in x 13 15/16 in (27.94 cm x 35.4 cm);16 in x 20 in (40.64 cm x 50.8 cm)

Credit Line
Gift of Selma & Gerald Lotenberg

Label copy
Postwar street photographers such as Elliott Erwitt often revel in suggesting subtle visual ironies betweee people and inanimate objects. His somber image of a young boy in Colorado, whose right eye is positioned behind the center of a shattered window, associate the fragility of the glass with the vulnerability of youth. In contrast, in Las Vegas, Erwitt photographs the interaction between a stoic woman and a lifelike, cowboy-shaped slot machine through a glass door labelled "PUSH." In doing so, Erwitt renders the kitschy artifice and disorienting mirrored spaces of a Las Vegas casino simultaneously fantastical and humorous.

Danny Lyon emphasizes the humanity of his subjects while at the same time immersing himself in their world. In his 1965 image of anmother and son hesitantly smiling through a car window, Lyon's reflection in the glass fuses the image of the photographer and those of his captive subjects.

Joel Meyerowitz takes a more aloof approach to documentary photography in his image of the Catskill Mountain resort where he worked as a waiter as an undergraduate, later returning as a newly minted professional photographer. Frames within frames are a key pictorial device for Meyerowitz, who here uses a three-paned glass wall to divide his poolside picture into a grid of symmetrical bays, interrupted by an unexpected lone foot rising above the central lounge chair to catch the sun.

Subject matter
In this photograph, the backs of three beach lounge chairs are visible through a large picture window. Three vertical muntin bars structure a tripartite composition, which is tilted slightly towards the right. A white towel drapes over the central chaise longue, atop which rests a bare foot, oriented as if pressed flat to the window pane. There is no other indication of human presence in the scene. The large glass panes confound exterior and interior space, as the reflection of utility poles, electric wires, and trees lie on the same plane as the hanging lamps of the resort's interior.

Physical Description
Photograph of a series of three beach lounge chairs in a windowed room. A single foot rests at the top of the center chair. 

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
beach chairs
buildings
chaises longues
feet
feet (animal components)
picture windows
reflections (perceived properties)
trees
window

& Author Notes

All Rights Reserved