Joanna, Age 15

Accession Number

Joanna, Age 15

Rita Bernstein

Object Creation Date

Medium & Support
gelatin silver print on paper

8 in x 10 in (20.32 cm x 25.4 cm)

Credit Line
Gift from the Collection of David S. Rosen MD, MPH

Label copy
Windows feature prominently in Joanne Leonard's and Rita Bernstein's insightful views of childhood within the home. In Winged Ones, Leonard bridged reality and fantasy by including actual bugs and insect wings in the darkroom enlarger as she printed this portrait of her daughter. Her photograph uses the frame of the window and the frame of the film negative as physical and metaphorical barriers beyond which the young girl cannot see.

In Bernstein's Michaela and Collin, the window frames a scene of play between a young girl and boy. The serene expression on Michaela's face as she gazes out the window contrasts with the efforts of the archer, Collin, behind her. Although the seemingly unaware Michaela may not be Collin's target, the proximity of his suction-cup arrow to her head lends tension to an otherwise mundane scene of domestic life. In Joanna, Age 15, the window is again used to create a note of drama in a quiet scene as a light filled window provides the backdrop for an ethereal portrait of the teenager.

Subject matter
Rita Bernstein became a photographer after ending her law career. She turned to subjects close to her, often photographing her children. Here, Joanna stands in front of a window, lifting her arms above her head, clasping her wrist. Her head is turned to the side, spiral curls falling over and obscuring her face. The image has a soft focus and a subtle range of tonalities. 

Physical Description
This is a photograph of a young girl silhouetted in front of a bright window with her arms raised above her head. Her left arm rests on her head, while she clasps her wrist with her right hand.

Primary Object Classification

Collection Area

If you are interested in using an image for a publication, please visit for more information and to fill out the online Image Rights and Reproductions Request Form. Keywords
curtains (window hangings)
hair (material)
women (female humans)
youth (life stages)

& Author Notes

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