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Danny LYON

United States of America born 1942

Shakedown, Ramsey Prison Farm, Texas 1967-68 Description: from the series Conversations with the Dead
Place made: Texas, United States of America
Materials & Technique: photographs, gelatin silver photograph

Primary Insc: Signed, verso, l.r., pencil, `Danny Lyon'; `... Lyon'. Stamp, verso, u.c., blue ink, `Photograph by / Danny Lyon / c. MAGNUM PHOTOS,INC. / 15 West 46th Street, NYC 10036'. Inscribed, verso, l.r., pencil, `Texas ...' Stamp & inscriptions, verso, l.r., black ink & pencil, `Printer / ... (illeg.) (pencil) / BLEAK BEAUTY / Picture Date / 1968 (pencil) / Print Date / 1970 (pencil).
Tertiary Insc: Inscribed, verso, c., `67-7-677/13A'
Dimensions: printed image 16.3 h x 24.0 w cm sheet 20.4 h x 25.2 w cm
Acknowledgement: Purchased 1994
Accession No: NGA 94.1361

The first staff photographer for the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee, Lyon spent the sixties fighting for social justice. Just previous to this series,he had spent two years riding with and photographing the Chicago Outlaw Motorcycle Club members. In 1967-68, Lyon spent 14 months inside Texas prisons making pictures for his book Conversations with the dead (1971). Granted full access, he photographed the everyday routine of prison life, seeking to, as he has stated, ‘make this picture of imprisonment as distressing as it is in reality.’

Text © National Gallery of Australia, Canberra