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PBY Blister Gunner

Horace Bristol

Photography

The naked figure in this photograph can seem incongruous, even surreal, without its historical context. During World War II, a PBY amphibian aircraft was sent to rescue a Marine airman who had been shot down while attacking Japanese forces at Rabaul Harbor. With the airman temporarily blinded and helpless in the water, the gunner from the rescue plane stripped down, getting rid of his encumbering flight suit and boots, dove into the water, and brought the injured man on board. In a combat situation, under enemy fire, the gunner had no time to get dressed again before returning to his battle station.
MEDIUM Gelatin silver photograph
DATES 1944, printed later
DIMENSIONS image: 10 1/2 x 9 3/4 in. (26.7 x 24.8 cm) sheet: 13 7/8 x 10 3/4 in. (35.2 x 27.3 cm)  (show scale)
SIGNATURE Signed on verso in pencil: "Horace Bristol"
COLLECTIONS Photography
MUSEUM LOCATION This item is not on view
ACCESSION NUMBER 1994.77
CREDIT LINE Purchased with funds given by the Horace W. Goldsmith Foundation, Harry Kahn, and Mrs. Carl L. Selden
RIGHTS STATEMENT © artist or artist's estate
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CAPTION Horace Bristol (American, 1908-1997). PBY Blister Gunner, 1944, printed later. Gelatin silver photograph, image: 10 1/2 x 9 3/4 in. (26.7 x 24.8 cm). Brooklyn Museum, Purchased with funds given by the Horace W. Goldsmith Foundation, Harry Kahn, and Mrs. Carl L. Selden, 1994.77. © artist or artist's estate (Photo: Brooklyn Museum, 1994.77_PS9.jpg)
IMAGE overall, 1994.77_PS9.jpg. Brooklyn Museum photograph, 2016
"CUR" at the beginning of an image file name means that the image was created by a curatorial staff member. These study images may be digital point-and-shoot photographs, when we don\'t yet have high-quality studio photography, or they may be scans of older negatives, slides, or photographic prints, providing historical documentation of the object.
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Horace Bristol (American, 1908-1997). <em>PBY Blister Gunner</em>, 1944, printed later. Gelatin silver photograph, image: 10 1/2 x 9 3/4 in. (26.7 x 24.8 cm). Brooklyn Museum, Purchased with funds given by the Horace W. Goldsmith Foundation, Harry Kahn, and Mrs. Carl L. Selden, 1994.77. © artist or artist's estate (Photo: Brooklyn Museum, 1994.77_PS9.jpg)