Huntsville, Alabama

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William Eggleston (American, b. 1939)
Huntsville, Alabama, 1978, printed later
Dye imbibition print
18 1/4 × 12 3/4 in. (46.36 × 32.39 cm)
Richard and Ethel Herzfeld Collection M1991.198
Photo credit: John R. Glembin
© Eggleston Artistic Trust. Courtesy Cheim & Read, New York
Not Currently on View

William Eggleston's solo exhibition at the Museum of Modern Art in New York in 1976 caused quite a bit of controversy. Art critics and the public alike were not used to seeing candid color photographs of ordinary scenes presented as art. But the timbre of Eggleston's images, which mixes a nonplussed sense of discovery with the meticulous recording of blandly familiar detail, struck a note with others. In addition, his presentation of them as dye transfer prints—a stable printing process that allowed Eggleston to control the appearance of individual colors—demanded that the photographs be taken seriously. In the years since their first appearance, images such as this one, in which pungent planes of color enclose a businessman resigned to a drab hotel room for the evening, have become touchstones in the history of photography and continue to resonate with contemporary artists today.

Publication History
Andera, Margaret, Nonie Gadsden, Britt Salvesen, and Laurie Winters. Collection Guide: Milwaukee Art Museum. Milwaukee, Wisconsin: Milwaukee Art Museum, 2004, p. 58, 73, cat. 98, color illus. p. 58.

Milwaukee Art Museum. Building a Masterpiece: Milwaukee Art Museum. New York: Hudson Hill Press, 2001, p. 212, color illus.
Exhibition History
A History of Photography, from the Permanent Collection, Milwaukee Art Museum, January 22 – April 14, 1996.

Recent Acquisitions, Milwaukee Art Museum, May 22, 1992 – August 23, 1992.

This information is subject to change as the result of ongoing research.