Esther Bubley

(Phillips, Wisconsin, 1921 - 1998)

The child asleep

From the series "Emergency Tracheotomy, Pittsburgh Children's Hospital, 1952"


Gelatin silver print

8 9/16 x 12 5/8 in. (21.8 x 32.0 cm)

Collection of the Akron Art Museum

Gift of the estate of Esther Bubley


More Information

Bubley was living at the hospital as part of a commission to document life in Pittsburgh when she happened upon – and recorded – this dramatic event. Patricia Clark, age 3, was brought to the hospital unable to breathe; an acute infection had closed her throat. The medical team inserted a tube into her throat. This emergency surgery, performed in the hallway without anesthesia and sterile masks and gloves, saved the child’s life.

Gelatin Silver