Photographs of and through windows have remained popular throughout the history of photography. In the early years, the presence of windows was driven by necessity: photography in its infancy required great amounts of light, and windows obliged. When light was no longer the primary factor, one still had to contend with mobility—or rather, a lack of it. Cumbersome equipment could easily be pointed at or out of the window, which often provided a constantly changing set of views to record. Finally, there is the conceptual motive: photographing a window is, essentially, photographing photography. A room with a window is a chamber with an aperture, so to place a camera within that chamber pointing out is to nest a camera within a camera. This history may have mattered little to Leslie Gill when he created this tightly framed masterpiece, which looks almost as if someone has opened up a panel in one of Piet Mondrian’s canvases to discover that the real world is hidden behind it.
—Russell Lord, Freeman Family Curator of Photographs, Prints, and Drawings
Many photographs from NOMA’s permanent collection are featured in Looking Again: Photography at the New Orleans Museum of Art (NOMA and Aperture, 2018). PURCHASE NOW
NOMA is committed to uniting, inspiring, and engaging diverse communities and cultures through the arts — now more than ever. You can support NOMA’s staff during these uncertain times as they work hard to produce virtual content to keep our community connected, care for our permanent collection during the museum’s closure, and prepare to reopen our doors.