Laurie Simmons Walking House 1989

  • Not on view

In Simmons's first photographs, made in the mid–1970s, female dolls in dollhouse interiors cook and clean, performing the typical chores of a housewife. Both the dolls and the stereotypes they embody evoke middle-class America in the 1950s. Like many of her contemporaries, Simmons has used the material of popular culture to probe and often debunk its social values. But the critical spirit of her photographs is colored with nostalgia. Later she recalled, "I was simply trying to recreate a feeling, a mood . . . a sense of the fifties that I knew was both beautiful and lethal at the same time."

Like the objects they represent, these early prints are quite small, but Simmons's work soon grew in scale. The pictures in her Walking Objects series of the late 1980s ironically endow commercial objects with human personalities by giving them legs and presenting them at a human scale — this print is almost seven feet tall. Isolated against a seamless backdrop under the dramatic artificial light of a stage or studio, the figures in these photographs are perfect and alluring. In Walking House, the sleek legs of a young starlet or model support a toy suburban house of the sort the young woman might have grown up in and in which—after marriage—she is destined to live.

Publication excerpt from The Museum of Modern Art, MoMA Highlights since 1980, New York: The Museum of Modern Art, 2007, p. 97.
Gelatin silver print
6' 11 1/4" × 47 3/8" (211.4 × 120.4 cm)
Richard E. and Christie Salomon Fund and The Family of Man Fund
Object number
© 2024 Laurie Simmons

Installation views

We have identified these works in the following photos from our exhibition history.

How we identified these works

In 2018–19, MoMA collaborated with Google Arts & Culture Lab on a project using machine learning to identify artworks in installation photos. That project has concluded, and works are now being identified by MoMA staff.

If you notice an error, please contact us at [email protected].


If you would like to reproduce an image of a work of art in MoMA’s collection, or an image of a MoMA publication or archival material (including installation views, checklists, and press releases), please contact Art Resource (publication in North America) or Scala Archives (publication in all other geographic locations).

MoMA licenses archival audio and select out of copyright film clips from our film collection. At this time, MoMA produced video cannot be licensed by MoMA/Scala. All requests to license archival audio or out of copyright film clips should be addressed to Scala Archives at [email protected]. Motion picture film stills cannot be licensed by MoMA/Scala. For access to motion picture film stills for research purposes, please contact the Film Study Center at [email protected]. For more information about film loans and our Circulating Film and Video Library, please visit

If you would like to reproduce text from a MoMA publication, please email [email protected]. If you would like to publish text from MoMA’s archival materials, please fill out this permission form and send to [email protected].


This record is a work in progress. If you have additional information or spotted an error, please send feedback to [email protected].