Presented by Sarah Kennel, the Byrne Family Curator of Photography, Peabody Essex Museum, Salem, Massachusetts, in conjunction with the exhibition “Sally Mann: A Thousand Crossings”

Between 1985 and 1994, photographer Sally Mann transformed the ordinary moments of childhood into extraordinary pictures by turning her lens onto her family, especially her three children, as they played and relaxed at their family’s summer cabin on the banks of Virginia’s Maury River.

The photographs, many of which were published in the 1992 book Immediate Family, explore the pleasures and perils of a free-range childhood and chart the sometimes rocky path toward adolescence. They also unleashed a controversy over their depiction of nudity, thrusting Mann and her work into the broader culture wars of the 1990s.

This talk looks at the genesis, and the enduring beauty and power, of Mann’s family pictures, examining their role as a cultural touchstone for issues such as childhood, motherhood, and the boundaries between public and private.

• $5 MFAH Members
• $10 Adult Nonmembers
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The Freed Lecture series is made possible by endowment income from the Eleanor and Frank Freed Foundation.