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Mother and Father

Jeffrey Silverthorne


Cibachrome print

20" x 16"

In 1972, Jeffrey Silverthorne was a graduate student at the Rhode Island School of Design. Confounded by the detached recounting of the death tolls from Vietnam on the nightly news, Silverthorne sought permission to take pictures at the city morgue to capture and reinforce the grim realities of death. In Mother and Father, Silverthorne collaged a portrait of his mother in her bikini enjoying a day on the beach with the body of an unidentified man from the morgue—a stand-in for his father—to highlight the memories, desires, and fears the deceased leave behind.


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