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Swimmer, Lido Theater

John L. Murphy

Photography

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"
COLLECTIONS Photography
MUSEUM LOCATION This item is not on view
ACCESSION NUMBER 1991.167.1
CREDIT LINE Frank Sherman Benson Fund
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