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Between and Mortarboard


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Fireflies

Accession Number
2013/2.110

Title
Fireflies

Artist(s)
Keith Carter

Artist Nationality
American (North American)

Object Creation Date
1992, printed 1993

Medium & Support
platinum-palladium print on paper

Dimensions
10 in x 10 in (25.4 cm x 25.4 cm)

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

Subject matter
This photograph depicts a view of two boys in swim trunks standing calf-deep in a body of fresh water. Vignetted by leafy trees, branches, and shadows, the two boys are silhouetted against the light reflected off the water beyond them. While a portion of the setting is in focus, the two boys are not, their blurry forms suggesting movement. They stand facing one another, appearing to look into the large glass jar that they hold, which, as the photograph’s title implies, contains fireflies. The shadowed figures and foreground speaks to the dusky time of summer days when fireflies emerge to flicker their bioluminescent bodies. The time-honored children’s activity of catching fireflies in jars to create sparkling lanterns is accentuated by the softness of the image’s focus, lending it the magical air of childhood wonder.  

Physical Description
This photograph depicts a view of the silhouetted forms of two boys holding a large glass jar and standing in a body of fresh water surrounded by trees.

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
boys
children (people by age group)
jars
lakes (bodies of water)
offspring
phosphorescence (luminescence)
trees