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Tiny at thirty on the beach with her 5 children, Seattle

Mary Ellen Mark

(Philadelphia, Pennsylvannia, 1940 - 2015, New York, New York)

1999 (printed 2004)

Selenium toned gelatin silver print

10 5/16 in. x 10 1/8 in. (26.19 cm x 25.72 cm)

Knight Purchase Fund for Photographic Media

2004.33

More Information

A highly esteemed documentary photographer, Mary Ellen Mark made iconic portraits of celebrities, but was most deeply involved with documenting “the unfamous.” “I want to be a voice for the overlooked,” commented the artist. In 1983 Mark was sent by Life to photograph street kids in Seattle. She met “Tiny,” thirteen-year old Erin Blackwell, who sometimes lived on the street, supporting herself through prostitution. Mark’s return visits over 30 years, during which time Tiny had ten children by multiple fathers, were one of the few constants in her subject’s life. The photographer documented Tiny’s struggles with poverty, substance abuse and abusive partners and family, and also captured moments of joy and intimacy.

Keywords
American
Beach
Black and White
Children
Contemporary Art
Family
Group
Mother
Photography
Poverty
Social Class
Water