Or are you looking for Search the Archives?

Please complete the form to email this item.

The Brown Sisters, Cambridge

  • Object:


  • Place of origin:

    Massachusetts (photographed)

  • Date:

    1986 (photographed)

  • Artist/Maker:

    Nixon, Nicholas, born 1947 (photographer)

  • Materials and Techniques:

    Gelatin-silver print (contact print made from 10 x 8 inch negatives)

  • Museum number:


  • Gallery location:

    Prints & Drawings Study Room, level F, case X, shelf 978, box B

Nixon has been photographing the sisters once a year, in roughly the same pose for almost thirty years, beginning in 1975. Nixon has used a large format, 10"x8" negative plate camera to photograph, which gives maximum clarity in the printed image because of the size of the negative from which it is made. The series maps their shared and also individual passage of time and developing womanhood. One of the sisters, Bebe, is married to Nixon and a query for the viewer that this series raises is whether you can tell, by the manners by which these women face the camera, which one is his wife.

Physical description

Black and white photograph of four women shown looking towards the camera.

Place of Origin

Massachusetts (photographed)


1986 (photographed)


Nixon, Nicholas, born 1947 (photographer)

Materials and Techniques

Gelatin-silver print (contact print made from 10 x 8 inch negatives)

Marks and inscriptions

'Nicholas Nixon'
Signed in pencil on the back

'Heather Brown Sawasky [?], Mimi Brown, Bebe Brown Nixon, Laurie Brown Tranchin Cambridge 1986'
Inscribed in pencil on the back

'29/50 NN 16789'
Numbered in pencil on the back


Height: 20.3 cm, Width: 25.2 cm

Descriptive line

Photograph by Nicholas Nixon, 'The Brown Sisters, Cambridge', from the series entitled 'The Brown Sisters', gelatin-silver prints, USA, 1986

Bibliographic References (Citation, Note/Abstract, NAL no)

Victoria and Albert Museum Department of Prints, Drawings and Paintings Accession Register for 1990


Photographic paper



Subjects depicted

Sisters; Group portraits; Women; Portraits


Photographs; Portraits


Prints, Drawings & Paintings Collection

Large image request

Please confirm you are using these images within the following terms and conditions, by acknowledging each of the following key points:

Please let us know how you intend to use the images you will be downloading.