Nicholas Nixon: Forty Years of The Brown Sisters

Nicholas Nixon. The Brown Sisters, Brighton, Massachusetts. 1985 23_1

Gelatin silver print, 18 1/8 × 22 9/16" (46.1 × 57.3 cm). The Photography Council Fund. © 2020 Nicholas Nixon

Narrator: All these photos have something in common. Take a look and see if you can figure it out.

Kid 1: I know—the same women are in every picture!

Kid 2: Yeah. And they’re always in the same order too!

Narrator: You got it! This was the very first picture photographer Nick Nixon took of the Brown sisters. I’ll let him introduce them. He knows them really well:

Artist, Nicholas Nixon: These are pictures of my wife Bebe and her three sisters. The first picture was just made on a weekend. The woman on the left is Heather. Heather was 23, Mimi was 15, Bebe was 25, and Laurie was 21.

Narrator: Nixon took a picture every year. Now, there’s a record of his family.

Nicholas Nixon: You probably get a picture taken of you every year at school. And this is very much like that – what you do to see what you look like when you change and get older every year. It’s just marking time.

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