Skip Navigation

Swimmer, Lido Theater

John L. Murphy


Using Coney Island as a setting, the photographer John Murphy created tableaux that captured the bleakness of the lives of fictional sideshow and carnival people. Here, a woman straddling a wooden chair faces a painted banner advertising her act at Coney Island’s Lido Theater, which closed in the 1970s. The contrast between her former glory as a performer and her current reality, emphasized by the empty room, is stark.
MEDIUM Gelatin silver photograph
DATES 1986; printed 1990
DIMENSIONS sheet: 19 3/4 × 15 3/4 in. (50.2 × 40 cm) image: 16 1/2 × 13 3/4 in. (41.9 × 34.9 cm)
SIGNATURE Signed verso lower right edge in graphite: "John L. Murphy 1990"
MUSEUM LOCATION This item is not on view
CREDIT LINE Frank Sherman Benson Fund
Not every record you will find here is complete. More information is available for some works than for others, and some entries have been updated more recently. Records are frequently reviewed and revised, and we welcome any additional information you might have.