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Uptown, Chicago

A work made of gelatin silver print, no. 3 from the portfolio "danny lyon" (1979).

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  • A work made of gelatin silver print, no. 3 from the portfolio "danny lyon" (1979).

Date:

1965, printed c. 1975

Artist:

Danny Lyon
American, born 1942

About this artwork

In the summer of 1965, having graduated two years earlier from the University of Chicago, Danny Lyon traveled on his Triumph motorcycle from his home in Hyde Park to Chicago’s tough Uptown neighborhood. The area had acquired the nickname Hillbilly Heaven for its large number of immigrants from central Appalachia. Over a period of several months, Lyon photographed residents of Uptown’s Clifton Avenue using a Rolleiflex camera borrowed from his close friend and mentor Hugh Edwards, then a photography curator at the Art Institute of Chicago.

Lyon gained the trust of several families, resulting in images that depict struggles but also immense community pride: “paradise inside a square,” as the photographer said, referencing the camera’s square format. In 1966 Lyon wrote of the project, “The pictures are not made to disturb people’s consciences but rather to disturb their consciousness. The pictures do not ask you to ‘help’ these people, but something much more difficult; to be briefly and intensely aware of their existence, an existence as real and significant as your own.”

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Photography and Media

Artist

Danny Lyon

Title

Uptown, Chicago

Origin

United States

Date

Made 1965

Medium

Gelatin silver print, No. 3 from the portfolio "Danny Lyon" (1979)

Dimensions

22 × 32.8 cm (image); 27.7 × 35.5 cm (paper)

Credit Line

Gift of Frederick M. and Elizabeth L. Myers

Reference Number

1981.581

Extended information about this artwork

Object information is a work in progress and may be updated as new research findings emerge. To help improve this record, please email . Information about image downloads and licensing is available here.

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