Viewing Record 3 of 7 mother

Mother's Lap, from the "Photographs of My Mother" series

  • Accession Number:
  • Artist:
    Faust, Sarah
  • Date:
  • Medium:
    Chromogenic development print
  • Dimensions:
    image: 15 in x 15 1/16 in; paper: 20 in x 16 in
  • Credit Line:
    Museum purchase

About the Photographer

Faust, Sarah

American, b. 1969

Sarah Faust's series Photographs of My Mother is an intimate record of her mother’s journey into the later years of her life and a lyrical study of the bond between mother and daughter. "The human body is a beautiful and fragile form," Faust states, "In photographing myself and loved ones I investigate its vulnerability, even its mortality." Faust poses with her mother in many of her photographs, which capture small interactions between the two women while accentuating the similarities and differences in their bodies. At the same time, many of Faust's portraits quietly challenge traditional notions of what it means to be an older woman in our society, conveying a measure of sensuality and independence.

In the image Winter Window (2003), for instance, the artist's mother is glimpsed standing outside the house, partially turned away from the camera, her face obscured by the window frame. In lieu of a clear view, our eyes linger on her elegant wool coat before coming to rest on the bright red nail polish on her left hand. In this photograph, like many in the series, the physical attributes of the house play a formal role in shaping our sense of family dynamics. The domestic spaces in these pictures—which are often set in the kitchen, living room, or bedroom—are not simply backdrops; Faust sensitively responds to the architecture of the home to convey varying degrees of intimacy and distance. In images like Winter Window Faust uses the pane of glass as a divider, separating herself from her subject. In other cases Faust frames the photograph closely around her subjects faces, letting a glimpse of patterned bed sheets confirm the private setting while capturing their physical closeness and the subtleties of expression.

Faust received a BFA from the University of Kansas (1992) and a her MFA from Columbia College Chicago (2000).